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Rob's 5 On It: Robin Williams' best movie roles

Robin Williams was found dead in his Northern California home after taking his own life on Aug. 11. Here's a look at some of his best movie roles:

1) "Good Will Hunting," 1997


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In "Good Will Hunting," Williams plays psychologist Sean Maguire. It's one of the best roles of his career because of the diversity of the character. Maguire is smart, funny, charming and serious. In this role, Williams truly shows off his range as an actor, not just a funny man.

Williams' brilliance was awarded with his only Academy Award.

Scenes to watch: Game 6 and the Park Bench scenes. (NOTE: Scenes contain strong language)

2) "Dead Poets Society," 1989


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This was another brilliant performance for Williams the actor. He was nominated for an Academy Award for portraying John Keating, the teacher who inspired his students through poetry.

This was another serious role for Williams showing off the Julliard education.

Scenes to watch: Oh Captain, My Captain and Carpe Diem scenes. (NOTE: Scenes contain strong language)

3) "Good Morning Vietnam," 1987


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Here Williams plays Airman Second Class Adrian Cronauer, a radio DJ sent to Saigon during the Vietnam War. There he entertains the troops on the Armed Forces Radio Service. Here, again, Williams was nominated for an Academy Award.

This is perhaps the quintessential Robin Williams roll -- over the top and hilariously funny. Williams uses a large repertoire of voices to deliver his comedy. Much of his lines were improvised, keeping with Williams strengths as a comedian.

Scenes to watch: All of Williams' radio scenes. (NOTE: Scenes contain strong language)

4) "Aladdin," 1992


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Robin Williams made this Disney movie. By made, I mean that by providing the voice of Genie he brought delight to children and a new level of tolerance for adults forced to watch a kid's movie. He was hilarious. He even sang a song.

For Genie, he again relied on his improvisational skills. Williams even did so on the cheap, accepting a union scale which is the lowest rate an actor can be paid. Disney ended up with 16 hours of Robin Williams as Genie material.

Scenes to watch: All the Genie scenes.

5) "Mrs. Doubtfire," 1993


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Yes. I put "Mrs. Doubtfire" on this list, mostly because I unexpectedly liked this movie. Williams plays Daniel Hillard, a dad with a conscience who loses his job and his marriage. In his struggle to spend more time with his children he creates their new nanny, Mrs. Doubtfire.

Here, we get another classic Williams role. He's funny. He's over the top and he's also a serious family man. It's just good fun.

Director Christopher Columbus gave Williams free range to improvise Mrs. Doubtfire. This was his greatest strength as a performer. He was fearless and found humor is almost anything.

This is why we can look back and remember the genius of Robin Williams. He was more than an actor who memorized lines. He created them and in doing so, made his characters better and made millions laugh.

P.S. In a nod to KTAR's Mike Russell, check out this Robin Williams honorable mention: "Death to Smoochie," one of Russell's favorites.

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About the Author


Rob spent his formative years growing up in Massachusetts, but after graduating from Emerson College in Boston, he's had the privilege of living in Florida, New Orleans and New Mexico. Rob & his wife Amy have lived in Phoenix since 2006 when he joined KTAR. Rob is passionate about our freedom and rights -- something he learned to love while growing up in the Boston area.

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