Originally, I was not planning on writing a tribute to Mr. Williams. I tend to view death in a different light than most people so I generally choose to stay quiet when beloved members of society pass from this world. However, there were words banging around in my head that begged to come out. And so they shall.
Like most people in my generation, I feel like I grew up with Mr. Williams. He was Popeye (even though it was a terrible movie), he was Mork, he was comedy.
While most people knew him from his movies or television appearances, I knew him from his stand-up. I watched "An Evening At The Met" when I was way too young to be watching such performances. (I was 10 or something.) But I loved it. When I was older, I searched out his other performances. "Off The Wall" is brilliant, despite being obviously driven by a cocaine addiction. He, along with other comedic geniuses like Steve Martin, Howie Mandel, and George Carlin, shaped my childhood. They got me through the tough parts.
It is unfortunate that the funniest people suffer from such tragedies. Depression, addiction, mental illness. These are things that aren't always noticeable on the outside. And people aren't always comfortable talking about it. But we, as a society, must. Please, if you suffer from depression (no, not just "I'm sad" - actual depression), seek help. People will help if you speak up. All you have to do is say the word.
So, thank you, Mr. Williams. Thank you for giving us the gift of laughter. Thank you for being a brilliant actor. Thank you for existing. May your next life bring you peace.