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By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | August 14, 2014
In my Monday-night appreciation of Robin Williams, I wrote about a 1994 episode of NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street" in which the comedian delivered an outstanding dramatic performance. (Read that here .) Sun librarian Paul McCardell, to whom anyone who cares a whit about institutional and civic memory owes a deep debt, dug up my preview of the episode that ran in the Sun on Jan. 6, 1994. In answer to those readers who asked what I wrote at the time, here it is. Check it out for yourself.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 17, 2014
Media coverage of the death of Robin Williams is still being debated for good reason: It was filled with ignorance and wretched excess. And the more time you have to reflect on it, the worse it seems. From Shepard Smith characterizing Williams as a "coward" on Fox News, to widespread misinformation about the comedian's finances, the coverage was pathetic -- especially on cable news channels where most viewers turned for information initially. If cable news would follow the simple dictate of publishing only what is known to be true, we would be a much smarter and less addled nation.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 17, 2014
Media coverage of the death of Robin Williams is still being debated for good reason: It was filled with ignorance and wretched excess. And the more time you have to reflect on it, the worse it seems. From Shepard Smith characterizing Williams as a "coward" on Fox News, to widespread misinformation about the comedian's finances, the coverage was pathetic -- especially on cable news channels where most viewers turned for information initially. If cable news would follow the simple dictate of publishing only what is known to be true, we would be a much smarter and less addled nation.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | August 14, 2014
This is Robin Williams Week in America; we are mourning the death by suicide of an extravagantly talented man who made us laugh and think. Here are some thoughts, starting with the words of an old friend whose father killed himself: "Suicide inflicts far more pain than it relieves. " My friend said this 20-plus years ago during a long overnight drive through Virginia, after the conversation had shifted to the guy topics of middle age: depression, alcoholism, women and children, and a mutual concern that we were in the process of becoming our fathers.
FEATURES
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | August 14, 2014
His eccentricity, boundary-pushing bravado and brilliant knack for flamboyance could have all made it so on their own, but it was perhaps Robin Williams' way of taking up queer characters with just the right balance of warmth and pitch-perfect irreverence that made us love him most. Yes, Williams -- gay cabaret owner in "The Birdcage" and the one-and-only dad-in-drag "Mrs. Doubtfire," among other favorites -- was an icon for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community just as much as he was a cherished persona for anyone in the world who loves comedy and could tell a genius of the form when they saw one. Williams' death by suicide this week was no doubt more cutting for many in the LGBT community because of the support he'd shown for them and theirs , decades before many of their own family and friends would do the same.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | August 11, 2014
Robin Williams was one of the most original, daring and troubled comedians to ever work in television. When he first burst on the screen, you held your breath as you watched him dance out there on a manic tightrope of improvisation. But after a while, you stopped wondering how he did it and learned to just enjoy the high of seeing him soar. The 63-year-old comedian and actor was found dead Monday at his home in Tiburon, Calif., north of San Francisco. The cause of death is suspected to be suicide by asphyxiation, according to the Marin County coroner's office.
FEATURES
By Mike Duffy and Mike Duffy,Knight-Ridder News Service | October 6, 1993
Don't expect Mork from Ork when Robin Williams guest stars on "Homicide."The low-rated, highly acclaimed NBC police drama has just finished filming four new episodes in Baltimore for airing in early 1994. And Mr. Williams was lured back to prime-time TV for a brief visit by "Homicide" executive producer Barry Levinson, who'd directed Mr. Williams to movie stardom in "Good Morning Vietnam."It will be Mr. Williams' first acting appearance on TV since "Mork & Mindy."No jokes this time, though.
FEATURES
By Steve McKerrow | May 29, 1991
It is hard to imagine what the world would be like if Robin Williams had followed through on an early career interest and become a foreign service officer -- maybe better, if more national leaders could laugh it up a little with the manic comic/actor. Williams is the subject of the latest "...talking with David Frost" on PBS tonight (at 8, channels 22, 26 and 67), and offers a somewhat quieter and more introspective demeanor than usual. And while Frost is not able to say much, he keeps Williams on a more or less chronological track, from early comedy club work through the series "Mork and Mindy" and on to such movies as "Good Morning Vietnam," "Dead Poets Society" and "Awakenings."
NEWS
By RON DICKER and RON DICKER,HARTFORD COURANT | April 23, 2006
New York -- Play a clown-like healer in Patch Adams, and they rip you for being schmaltzy. Play a homicidal children's TV star in Death to Smoochy, and they rip you for being mean. Why can't Robin Williams win? "Sometimes you just catch a bad wave," he says. The ocean metaphor is an apt one for this interview, which finds the manic comedian in a laid-back California mood. Williams, 54, returns to broad big-studio yuks in RV, opening Friday. He liked the match with director Barry Sonnenfeld but insists the film is not image repair.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | October 15, 2004
Robin Williams continues to shine in films that use his nervous energy best by repressing it, turning him into a character ever ready to pounce, even though the results of doing so would surely prove disastrous. In The Final Cut, Williams plays Alan Hakman, an employee of a company that implants tiny chips in selected infants' brains that record everything that happens throughout their lives. When they die, it's the job of "cutters" like Hakman to take the footage, edit out all the bad parts and make the dearly departed look like a paragon of virtue.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | August 14, 2014
In my Monday-night appreciation of Robin Williams, I wrote about a 1994 episode of NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street" in which the comedian delivered an outstanding dramatic performance. (Read that here .) Sun librarian Paul McCardell, to whom anyone who cares a whit about institutional and civic memory owes a deep debt, dug up my preview of the episode that ran in the Sun on Jan. 6, 1994. In answer to those readers who asked what I wrote at the time, here it is. Check it out for yourself.
FEATURES
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | August 14, 2014
His eccentricity, boundary-pushing bravado and brilliant knack for flamboyance could have all made it so on their own, but it was perhaps Robin Williams' way of taking up queer characters with just the right balance of warmth and pitch-perfect irreverence that made us love him most. Yes, Williams -- gay cabaret owner in "The Birdcage" and the one-and-only dad-in-drag "Mrs. Doubtfire," among other favorites -- was an icon for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community just as much as he was a cherished persona for anyone in the world who loves comedy and could tell a genius of the form when they saw one. Williams' death by suicide this week was no doubt more cutting for many in the LGBT community because of the support he'd shown for them and theirs , decades before many of their own family and friends would do the same.
NEWS
Susan Reimer | August 13, 2014
Among the heartfelt tributes, the death of Robin Williams has also drawn what is now a predictable response - people saying stupid and insensitive things about depression and suicide while babbling too long in front of the camera or posting intemperate outbursts on Twitter. Fox News host Shepard Smith ended a marathon broadcast by calling Williams a "coward," after inviting the audience to imagine raising three children as Williams did. "And yet, something inside you is so horrible or you're such a coward or whatever the reason that you decide that you have to end it. Robin Williams, at 63, did that today," he said.
NEWS
By Michael Hill | August 12, 2014
They were called "round-robins" - a way of dividing up the stars of the new television season and the hundred or so critics who had come to Los Angeles to interview them. Instead of one unwieldy gathering, the critics divided into three groups and the stars rotated through. Maybe stars isn't the right word. These were actors on shows that had yet to air who hoped to become stars. The year was 1978, and I was the new TV critic for The Evening Sun on my first West Coast network tour, a biannual event.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | August 12, 2014
The Juilliard School in New York, where Robin Williams studied in the mid-1970s (he withdrew in 1976 before completing the B.F.A. program) and where he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree in 1991, has issued this statement on the actor's death: The Juilliard community is deeply saddened by the death of our distinguished alumnus Robin Williams. Robin's genius for comedic improvisation, which quickly surfaced in his studies at Juilliard, was matched by his deep understanding of the actor's art and how to touch his audience in meaningful ways.
HEALTH
By Scott Dance and Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | August 12, 2014
Physicians, public health officials and mental health advocates hope the death of Robin Williams will bring new attention to suicide, the little-discussed and less-understood phenomenon that now ranks among the top 10 causes of death in the United States. The public might consider it a concern chiefly for teens and the elderly. But adults ages 45 to 64 - the Academy Award-winning actor was 63 - now account for the largest number of suicides and have the fastest-growing suicide rate.
FEATURES
By CHRIS KALTENBACH and CHRIS KALTENBACH,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | April 28, 2006
The best thing about RV, Barry Sonnenfeld's remake (in spirit, if not in name) of National Lampoon's Vacation, is that it's a comedy in which Robin Williams gets to play someone other than Robin Williams. Yes, Williams in short bursts can be one of the funniest men on the planet, but spread over an entire film - not to mention an entire film canon - his manic, rapid-fire schtick can prove wearying. RV gives him the chance to ratchet down his persona and gives the film's other actors a chance to shine as well.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | August 11, 2014
Robin Williams was one of the most original, daring and troubled comedians to ever work in television. When he first burst on the screen, you held your breath as you watched him dance out there on a manic tightrope of improvisation. But after a while, you stopped wondering how he did it and learned to just enjoy the high of seeing him soar. The 63-year-old comedian and actor was found dead Monday at his home in Tiburon, Calif., north of San Francisco. The cause of death is suspected to be suicide by asphyxiation, according to the Marin County coroner's office.
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