* Editor’s Note – Our Film Critic Peter Warden had a chance encounter with Robin Williams less than 48 hours ago. He was delighted to run into him and considered it a sign of good luck for an upcoming theatrical production in which we both are involved. Needless to say, today’s news has left Peter in shock. Here are his thoughts, as posted on Facebook:
How do you deal with this? I won’t make myself into more than I am. I’m just a person. Miniscule spit in the ocean. But how do I deal with the idea that if I had just said something, things would have been different? If I had told him how much he had meant to me as a performer for as long as I could remember. If I had mentioned how inspirational all of his comedic work had been to me as a child. How I imitated the genie and Mrs. Doubtfire for my elementary school classmates all the time. How his ability to pull back for his dramatic work was as beautifully subtle and effective as anyone else on the screen. How his stand-up specials continue to hold up as classics that I continuously revisit all the time. How his work as a performer has been a constant staple of the inspiration I draw on when I’m asked to be funny onstage. How even when he appeared in less than great movies, his presence could always elevate them to a higher level. How I got to be little extra parts in two films of his when I was a kid. I could have expressed my appreciation and admiration for everything he has accomplished in his life.
I could have said any of that. But I said none of that. And less than 48 hours later, here we are. I don’t know why he would do this. But I just hope it wasn’t because he thought he wasn’t loved, or respected, or didn’t inspire joy and laughter. Because he couldn’t have been more wrong. RIP Robin Williams. I can’t possibly express how much you will be missed by me, and surely so many others.