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Sioux Falls Remembers Robin Williams

When I was little, Emmett Kelly was known as the ‘sad clown’. He was a circus performer who had based his character on depression-era hobo’s. I really believe this generations sad clown was Robin Williams. But his ‘character’ was real.

Actor/Comedian Robin Williams’ death on Monday (August 11) hit me and social media harder than any celebrity passing in recent memory. Williams was a part of our youth and a part of our present. He was a chameleon of a performer from the manic Mork from Ork, to the crazy DJ in “Good Morning Vietnam”, to the tortured writer in “The World According to Garp”, to the inspiring educator in “Dead Poet’s Society”, to his Oscar winning role as a therapist in “Good Will Hunting” which seems the most poignant this morning. I just want to be able to look Williams in the eye and say “It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.”

Because the amazing performer we all saw, knew and loved, was apparently a tortured soul. His drug abuse and alcoholism was well-known and documented in the 70s and 80s but he still battled those demons until the end. In June of this year, he popped in to a Dairy Queen in Lindstrom, Minnesota one evening. Lindstrom is the home of the world famous Hazelden Rehab Facility where Williams was rumored to be staying for undisclosed reasons. As you can see in the picture (the last public picture I remember seeing in fact) he doesn’t look well.

robin williams lindstrom mn
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Williams also battled depression for many years. Due to the drug use, due to failed marriages, hell, due to life in general. Thankfully depression and other mental illnesses are finally becoming a little more mainstream so people can get help. It seemed for many years that it was a ‘closeted’ illness that people didn’t want to talk about. People couldn’t get the help they needed. I know several people who battle depression. It’s very real and there are places here in Sioux Falls like Avera Behavioral Health where people can seek help. If you have these types of feelings, PLEASE reach out to someone. I understand the feelings of “I’m all alone” and “no one cares”, but believe me, you’re not alone and people DO care.

Though I never had the chance to meet Williams, like you, I felt like I knew him. He was a part of our lives for over 35 years from his stand up comedy days (and one of the most brilliant ad-lib comics ever. To see him on Johnny Carson, with Carson having NO idea what was going to happen, to his incredible stand up specials, Robin was one of the quickest minds you’d ever find) through his diverse acting career.

How do you know you’ve left a mark on the entertainment industry? When you throw out the question “What is your favorite Robin Williams movie/TV show/character?” and you get literally dozens of different answers:

Bill Helmer Cy. One Hour Photo.
…obscure film, but showed his range if placed next to Good Morning Vietnam or Patch Adams

Scott Zahn adrian cronauer… Good Morning Vietnam!

Patti Hanson How can we pick one? I have so many favorites. The funniest I’ve ever laughed is when Robin was a guest on the Drew Carey hosted show “Whose Line Is It Anyway”. A show that show cased improve- Robin was THE champ. Drew Carey was laughing soooo hard he (and all of us) were crying and (likely) peeing ourselves! Maybe now those shows will be up to be purchased… I wiukd buy in a heartbeat-RIP Robin!!!

Heather Shantell Soria Mrs Doubtfire!!

Justin Christopher Neuroth Good will hunting!

Bill MacDonald I can’t decide on one. I grew up watching Mork & Mindy. Popeye was amazing, Good Morning Vietnam was hilarious. Even his voice as the genie in Aladin made the movie. What Dreams may Come proved he could be dramatic as well. Today is truly a sad day.

Marilyn Vande Kop Jacobson There are so many but I’d say Patch Adams.

Spirit Sparks Patch Adams!!!

Kari Loban- Swartos Mrs Doubtfire. Nothing better than listening to the girls crackin up over that movie. “DONT FUSS w ME!” My favorite quote ever.

Sean F Linderholm Good Will Hunting is my favorite movie. Dead Poets Society was my favorite part he played.

Sunny Dae Dead Poets Society..

Tom Jade Filholm There will probably never be a better Peter Pan, but his Popeye portrayal was horrible.

Jessica Simmons Don’t forget peter pan

Ashley Nichole Klopstad Mrs. Doubtfire, What Dreams May Come, Hook, Dead Poets Society, Patch Adams, Jack, his standup, Mork n Mindy, Good Morning Vietnam, Aladdin, Fern Gully… doubtless others I can’t even think of right now. Find peace, oh captain, my captain!

Becky Fisher I just saw him last evening in the movie August Rush. He could even play the sinister nasty guy so well..

Julie Kleen Dead Poets Society and Patch Adams

Heather Keenan Genie from Aladdin!

Laine Larsen Dead Poets Society. Oh captain, my captain. Godspeed Robin ♡

Patrick Doll Good Morning Vietnam. I wanted to be a DJ like Adrian Cronauer after watching that. Only after I met the real Adrian Cronauer at a book signing did I want to be a DJ like Robin Williams instead. (Adrian was a great guy, but nothing like Robin.)

Franki Espinoza One Hour Photo showed what a magnificent actor he truly was, and he was DYNAMITE on Law and Order: SVU! May he rest…

Pam Shulsen Dead Poets Society

Angie Bostater Batty on Fern Gully was fave animated character. Loved basically anything thing he was involved in. Best comedian ever.

Brenda Christensen He made me laugh so many times that the tears were rolling. And I almost wet my pants.

Jeff Steen Lesser remembered, but I’ve always loved “The Survivors.”

Jan Gort Jumanji….Patch Adams

Connie Howes Good Morning Vietnam

Cindy Linton Sullenger Mrs Doubtfire and Patch Adams

Mark Richters Mork by far

David Langner Mrs. Doubtfire and good morning Vietnam. Rest in peace Robin Williams. Thanks for the laughs.

Tyson Wharton Hook, Patch Adams, What Dreams May Come and Jack.

Boo Nelson Mork and mindy

Lynne Bohlman-Casey Jack

Bonnie J Berg Loved Robin Williams humor!!

Nick Soria I think he was great in JACK. Rest in peace Robin.

Troy Duffy truly sad

Sharon Artz Braun Dead Poets Society!

Deb Lounsbery-White he will be missed

Rachel Garcia Echeverria Flubber

Becky Fisher Just thought of another, Jack

Blair Abernathy still liked him as The Genie in Aladdin.

Liz Ofstad Alladin

Paco Ackerman Too sad:(

Jana Bartholomew Mrs Doubtfire

Robin Williams was truly one of a kind. He was our sad clown and as one person put it on Facebook: “When Buddy Holly died in the plane crash, it was known as the day the music died. Today will be known as the day the laughter died.”

I hope you find peace Robin. You meant so much to so many and we will miss you.

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