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Immensely talented and versatile performer Robin Williams passes away at 63

Today, August 11, 2014, I must relay the tragic news that the legendary comedian and actor Robin Williams. Williams was an unbelievably versatile and talented performer who could bring an enthusiastic, energetic and charismatic presence to the stage, or portray a more serious, intelligent and somber character on screen

Robin Williams passed away this afternoon at the age of 63
Robin Williams passed away this afternoon at the age of 63
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Williams, who graduated from the famous performing arts school Julliard, began his career as a passionate, high-octane stand-up comedian who differentiated himself with his fast-paced, witty, improvisational skills and his energetic comedic style. He brought his comedic talents to television in the 70s and gained national attention for his hilarious portrayal of the alien Mork in the show “Mork & Mindy.”

After dominating “Mork & Mindy” with his hilarious improvised style, Williams took advantage of his background in acting and starred in a number of popular hit films. He was one of the most prominent actors of the late 80s and 90s and he starred in several great films including “Good Morning Vietnam,” in which he used his comedic skills to portray the role of Adrian Cronauer, an unusual and irreverent DJ who finds ways to entertain the troops struggling through the Vietnam War. He also starred in the “Dead Poets Society,” as an inspirational and influential English teacher who inspired his students to seize the day and recognize their potential as intellectuals and individuals.

Although he secured Academy Award nominations for his performances in both “Good Morning Vietnam” and the “Dead Poets Society,” Williams did not win an Academy Award until 1998 for his memorable performance as Sean McGuire, a brilliant therapist who helps a troubled but brilliant young man rid himself of his past demons and reach his full potential.

Williams balanced his award-winning dramatic performances with equally impressive roles in comedic films like “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Man of the Year.” He had the ability to galvanize good films with his over-the-top sense of humor and turn them into great films that were side-splittingly funny.

Unfortunately, Williams seemed to gain his unbelievable ability to reach extreme highs and explore powerful lows by delving into his own life, one that was marked by struggles with substance abuse and mental illness. Williams was found deceased in his home earlier today, August 11, 2014, from what appears to be a suicide due to asphyxia.

Although Williams has passed away, his legacy will live on. His work had a tremendous impact on comedians and actors that will not soon be forgotten. His work will continue to entertain viewers for decades and we will be able to fondly remember the passion he brought to each of his performances. So, it is with great sadness I must write Rest in Peace, Robin Williams.