I started writing this post as an explainer of
Here are those lines, with a little context added. There are many more than could be included here. But they show the actor's range and, perhaps more importantly, the joy he took in exploring it.
“It’s not your fault." (“Good Will Hunting”) As
"I defect." ("Moscow on the Hudson") It was unclear, in those early days of 1984, whether Williams could make the transition from his "Mork and Mindy" days to something larger. And yet with those two words — Russian-accented, enjoyably misunderstood by the Bloomingdale's security guard to whom he says it — all those doubts wash away.
"Gooooooood-byyyyyyye Vietnaaaaam! That's right, I'm history… I'm outta here. I got the lucky ticket home, baby. Rollin, rollin, rollin'… keep them wagons rollin', rawhide! Yeah, that's right… the final Adrian Cronauer broadcast… and this one is brought to you by our friends at the Pentagon. Remember the people who brought you Korea? That's right, the
“Daddy’s out of focus.” (“Deconstructing Harry”) OK, it was said to him, not about him. And it may not rank on some people's lists as one of the all-time classic Williams performances. But for its existential brilliance, and the way Williams subtly parried the humor back, this moment from the
"Oh, the terrorists? They ran that way. It was a run-by fruiting." ("Mrs. Doubtfire") There were so many great lines in the film "(hit by a Guinness truck," the "sink the sub, hide the weasel" monologue). But really, in both substance and delivery, it doesn't get better than the run-by fruiting.