Watch: Five Most Memorable Roles of Robin Williams

Mork in Mork & Mindy

Mork, the alien sent from the planet Ork, who came to Earth in a small, one-man egg-shaped spaceship to observe human behavior, was on television for four years and introduced the American audience to Williams’ unique brand of wackiness. Williams’ dedication to the character and willingness to do anything for a laugh made viewers realize that Williams was an actor — not just a comedian.

Daniel Hillard/Mrs. Doubtfire in Mrs. Doubtfire

Williams played a man willing to go to any lengths to be with his family, including masquerading as a buxom nanny in the hopes of winning his wife back from Pierce Brosnan. A part that campy could have sunk many actors’ careers, but it just cemented America’s love for Williams. A sequel was planned for 2015.

John Keating in Dead Poets Society

Williams played a fun-loving poetry professor who came to a stuffy boarding school, then challenged and inspired his students through his outside-the-box teaching methods. When the film came to the final scene, where his students take to their desks to declare their love for their teacher, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Genie in Aladdin

While voicing animated characters is par for the course for established actors these days, Williams’s take on the genie in Aladdin set the bar very high. His blue-bottled genie was blustery good fun for both kids and parents.

Dr. Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting

Williams came to Good Will Hunting after a string of comedic hits and misses (Toys, Jack, and Mrs. Doubtfire among them). He shined as a therapist tasked with helping a young math prodigy overcome his anger and work towards a healthy relationship with both a girl, and the world at large. Their sessions together revealed a lot about the characters and the actors, paving the way for more serious roles for Williams and kick-starting Matt Damon’s career.


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