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As is making the news, comedian and actor Robin Williams died yesterday on August 11.

Like many of my generation, I first saw him on an episode of Happy Days as Mork from Ork in 1978. It was supposed to be a one shot, but he impressed the producers and got a spin off show, Mork & Mindy, which ran from 1978 to 1982. I remember living for Thursday nights. The show underwent a major revamp, dropping cast members and bringing new ones on board. The series tumbled in the ratings, and despite bringing back the previous actors, it had lost its luster and was cancelled after four seasons.

Williams starred as the main character in the 1980 musical Popeye. I was a fan of the comic and cartoon series and was more obsessed over the movie’s continuity rather than the overall story. After that came The World According to Garp. I was a little young for it, having only experienced his zany comedy, and never quite understood the film.

Williams was also one of the first comedic actors that I knew of who made the transition to dramatic roles, winning acclaim with films such as Dead Poets Society and The Fisher King. He did both comedy and drama equally well, which frankly I don’t think is a surprise. As the saying goes, dying is easy, comedy is hard. And comedy is usually tragedy coming from an odd angle.

He recently returned to TV with The Crazy Ones with Sarah Michelle Gellar. I liked the series. Williams gave a more understated performance than what I had anticipated, but the twinkle in his eye remained. Because I enjoyed the show, it was cancelled after one season.

During his career, Williams had suffered from substance abuse and depression. He was 63.