Renowned for his otherworldly improvisational skills and Oscar-winning dramatic performances in films like Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams died yesterday at his home in Tiburon, Calif. from an apparent suicide, police said. He was 63.
While Williams’ passing may have come as a shock to fans, his publicist noted in a statement that “He has been battling severe depression of late.” Williams also notably struggled with drug and alcohol abuse throughout his career, having checked into rehab most recently earlier this year.
Even President Obama expressed his condolences. “He arrived in our lives as an alien — but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry,” Obama said in a statement. “He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most — from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets.”
In honor of Williams’ considerable impact on entertainment, his extensive charitable work and his incisive social commentary, here are 10 of his greatest quotes:
- “You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”
- “What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.”
- “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change this world.” –Dead Poets Society
- “Some are born great. Some achieve greatness. Some get it as a graduation gift.”
- “[Mentor Jonathan Winters] taught me that the world is open for play, that everything and everybody is mockable in a wonderful way.”
- “You have this idea that you’d better keep working otherwise people will forget. And that was dangerous. And then you realize, no, actually if you take a break people might be more interested in you.”
- “I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.” –World’s Greatest Dad
- “If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.”
- “It’s a wonderful feeling when your father becomes not a god but a man to you — when he comes down from the mountain and you see he’s this man with weaknesses. And you love him as this whole being, not as a figurehead.”
- “But only in their dreams can men be truly free. It was always thus and always thus will be.” –Dead Poets Society