Rediscovering Robin Williams: 5 Overlooked Performances from the 80s

Rediscovering Robin Williams: 5 Overlooked Performances from the 80s

Rediscovering Robin Williams: 5 Overlooked Performances from the 80s

Robin Williams‘s tragic suicide in August 2014 left the world in shock. The beloved actor, who once said that the saddest people always try to make others happy, seemed to be hiding his own pain behind the camera. With a tumultuous personal life and a career that was not progressing, Williams was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. An autopsy later revealed he had Lewy body dementia, a brain disorder with an associated risk of suicide. Despite the sadness surrounding his death, Williams left behind a legacy of laughter and poignant performances. Let’s take a look at some of his overlooked roles from the 80s.

1. Mork and Mindy (1978-1982)

Mork & Mindy was an American sitcom that aired on ABC, featuring Robin Williams as Mork, an alien from the planet Ork who ages backward and knows nothing about humans. Sent to Earth to study its inhabitants, Mork meets Mindy McConnell (Pam Dawber), who takes him in and helps him learn about human life. The show follows their hilarious adventures and eventual romantic relationship, culminating in their marriage and the birth of their son, Mearth, who also ages backward.

2. Popeye (1980)

In this live-action adaptation of the classic comic strip, Williams stars as Popeye, a sailor searching for his long-lost father in the port town of Sweethaven. Along the way, he falls in love with Olive Oyl (Shelley Duvall) and clashes with the town bully, Bluto (Paul L. Smith). When Bluto kidnaps Olive and Popeye’s adopted son, Swee’Pea, Popeye must find the strength to save them – with the help of his magic spinach, of course.

3. The World According to Garp (1982)

In this adaptation of John Irving’s novel, Williams plays T.S. Garp, a young man raised by his single mother, Jenny Fields (Glenn Close), after the death of his father. As Garp grows up and becomes a writer, he navigates the challenges of life, love, and the strange community that forms around his mother’s feminist center. The film is a poignant exploration of resilience and adaptation in the face of adversity.

4. Moscow on the Hudson (1984)

Williams stars as Vladimir Ivanoff, a Russian saxophonist who defects from the Moscow circus during a visit to New York City. Despite his limited English, Vladimir adapts to American culture and finds work as a musician. The film offers a touching portrayal of the immigrant experience and the power of music to bridge cultural divides.

5. The Best of Times (1986)

In this comedy-drama, Williams plays Jack Dundee, a man haunted by a mistake he made during a high school football game. Alongside his old friend Reno Hightower (Kurt Russell), Jack organizes a rematch to redeem himself and finally let go of the past. The film is a heartwarming exploration of self-forgiveness and the power of second chances.

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