Why the death of Robin Williams is hitting so hard

Posted at 8:19 AM, Aug 12, 2014

​Sadly, unexpected celebrity deaths are not uncommon. But the news of Robin Williams’ suspected suicide hit particularly hard Monday night. Here’s why.

First, he was a comedian.

​​There’s something truly torturous about knowing a man who comforted us with humor was hurting so much inside. We suddenly feel guilty for laughing — it’s like learning the friend we thought we knew was an entirely different person. We replace comedy with tragedy.

Second, and more importantly — Williams was a true comedian. True comedians go for more than dumb laughs — he made us smile with movies like “Dead Poets Society,” “Patch Adams” — with that story about his wife farting in “Good Will Hunting.” The truly talented find the funny in real, vulnerable life — he did that — making movies that touched people’s hearts.

And third — comedy legends last. Williams was a man who multiple generations grew up with — starting with “Mork & Mindy” in the ‘70s, through “Good Morning Vietnam” in the ‘80s, through “Aladdin,” “Hook” and “Mrs. Doubtfire” in the ‘90s. Even “Night at the Museum” brought him to kids in the 2000s. For the past 40 years, children have loved Robin Williams. 

For more on the millions of people affected by his death, watch this Newsy video.