In August 2014, we lost a cherished talent when Robin Williams passed away.
His daughter Zelda said it best in the wake of his death: ‘The world is forever a little darker, less colourful and less full of laughter in his absence.’
For millions, Williams is at the heart of their comedy education. Whether it be Good Morning, Vietnam; Jumanji, Flubber or his timeless voice performance as Genie in Aladdin – his exuberant, boundless spirit was both impressive and infectious. In 2018, Business Insider voted him as the funniest person of all time.
A maestro with laughs, Williams also had extraordinary acting prowess. From the poignant earnestness of his performance in Good Will Hunting, his uplifting advice of ‘carpe diem’ in Dead Poets Society, or his diabolically creepy turn in One Hour Photo, Williams is a man that can never be lauded enough.
The role that’s truly synonymous with his name is Mrs Doubtfire, a part-and-parcel viewing while growing up. For me, it was a VHS tape, for my little cousins it was a DVD, for today’s generations it’ll be streamed – but every kid watches it, and that says something for the actor.
The film tells the story of Daniel Hillard (Williams), an actor who disguises himself as an elderly, female housekeeper in order to spend time with his children, who are in his ex-wife’s custody.
It’s a heartwarming family tale – with a fabulous cast, including Sally Field and Pierce Brosnan – filled with belly laughs and emotional moments to hit the themes home.
In honour of the fifth anniversary of Williams’ death, two deleted scenes from the film have been circulating online. Both are a testament to Williams’ remarkable versatility as a performer, turning off the cartoonish, loveable buffoonery for moments of tender sincerity and conflict.
The first clip shows Williams’ character arriving late to his daughter Lydia’s spelling bee. While the pair’s encounter initially starts off as a confrontation, it evolves into a bittersweet conversation about the falsity of pretending to be happy.
The director Chris Columbus, the man behind Home Alone, said the scenes were removed from the final cut as they would have been ‘too heartbreaking’ for audiences. The next clip serves to prove the filmmaker right.
This clip takes place in the fallout of Field’s character discovering the truth behind her new housekeeper. The pair have a loud, harsh argument – and their children hear it all. They come out and tell their parents they hate them both, and the heartbreak in both Williams and Field’s eyes is almost tangible.
Williams’ legacy lives on in his passing. His performances are indelible, but it’s his words that carry even more power now.
One quote that sticks out is:
I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy. Because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anybody else to feel like that.
I’ll leave you with one last quote: ‘Seize the day. Because, believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing.’
If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58, and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone.
After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.