We’re all still reeling from the news of Robin Williams’ death yesterday. There are few entertainers past or present who even come close to his prodigious talent. But it was his down-to-earth humanity that makes his passing really sting — he found a way into so many of our hearts not just with a quick wit and sharp tongue, but with that twinkle in his eye that seemed to say, “we’re in this together, let’s make it funny.”
Williams was also a vocal believer in gay rights, and didn’t shy away from playing gay characters. Even when he was joking about gay penguins or hilariously teaching Nathan Lane how to act straight, it was always clear that he came from a place of love. Always politically correct? Perhaps not, but he pushed the boundaries in all the right ways.
Here are some of our favorite gay moments from Robin:
His thoughts on homosexuality and the Vatican:
Parkinson gay penguins:
Teaching Nathan Lane to play straight in The Birdcage:
Going toe to toe with Graham Norton:
OK, one more from The Birdcage, because it’s just that good:
Robin publicly supported gay marriage, but that didn’t stop him from making a joke or two:
“You could talk about same-sex marriage, but people who have been married [say] ‘It’s the same sex all the time.’”
“The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying, ‘Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses. ‘ She’s got a baseball bat and yelling, ‘You want a piece of me? “, “We had gay burglars the other night. They broke in and rearranged the furniture.”
There was also a serious side to Robin. Here he is playing a gay radio host based off of the real life of Armistead Maupin in The Night Listener:
He also plays a married man coming to terms with his sexuality after meeting a young male street hustler in the film Boulevard, which screened at film festivals this year and also stars Bob Odenkirk and Kathy Baker.
Robin, you will be dearly missed.