At the time of his passing, Robin Williams was starring in the CBS sitcom "The Crazy Ones" and had several movies in production, including a reprisal of one of his most beloved roles in the recently announced "Mrs. Doubtfire 2."
His earliest roles were on 1970s television shows including "Laugh-In," "The Richard Pryor Show" and "Happy Days." Here are some of the actor's most beloved performances, ranging almost 40 years in television and movies:
"Mork & Mindy" (1978-1982)
(CBS Television Distribution)
Playing an alien from the planet Ork was perhaps the perfect role for a 27-year-old oddball comedian like Williams. His lightning-fast improvisational skills and gift for silly voices made this show a hit with audiences. It would be about ten years after this series started when his movie career took off.
"Good Morning, Vietnam" (1987)
(Buena Vista Pictures)
This is where Williams became a household name among movie fans. Based on the real-life story of U.S. Air Force radio personality Adrian Cronauer, "Good Morning, Vietnam" gave Williams a chance to show his talent for rapid-fire comedy—in a place where everyone needed a laugh.
"Dead Poets Society" (1989)
(Buena Vista Pictures)
"Carpe diem" became an instant catchphrase after Williams immortalized it during a famous speech in this picture. As a private school literature teacher, Williams was given a chance to prove his Julliard-trained dramatic prowess in the inspirational "Dead Poets Society."
(Walt Disney Pictures)
A whole new generation of fans were introduced to Williams after he voiced the larger-than-life Genie in Disney's hit "Aladdin." Kids who weren't even born when the actor was toiling away in stand-up comedy venues became instant fanatics after hearing his work in this modern classic.
"Mrs. Doubtfire" (1993)
(20th Century Fox)
Continuing a streak of family-friendly pictures in the early-nineties, Williams played a cross-dressing dad in 1993's "Mrs. Doubtfire." This was another chance for the actor to show his gift at playing multiple personalities at once. The movie was a huge hit, scoring over $219 million at the box office.
"The Birdcage" (1996)
One of Williams's funniest performances, his take as a gay nightclub show director in "The Birdcage" earned praise from critics. Roger Ebert wrote "Williams is the best surprise," in a positive review of the picture upon release.
After 20 years of starring roles, Williams's performance in "Good Will Hunting" is what finally won him an Academy Award. This dramatic role earned him the Best Supporting Actor statue in 1998.
"Patch Adams" (1998)
A heartfelt performance from Williams, showcasing his comedic and dramatic talents. His role as the free-spirited real-life Dr. Patch Adams in the movie of the same name was one of the sweetest of the actor's long career.
"One Hour Photo" (2002)
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)
For a guy that was so gifted at playing likeable characters, Williams showed he could also tap into his dark side. In 2002, he played an photo lab technician who becomes obsessed with what he sees as a perfect family, decorating his own home with copies of their family pictures. Williams also played a sinister role in Christopher Nolan's "Insomnia," which also came out in 2002.