Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bright Lights Gone

by Maggie Sefton

I'm writing this post Monday night right after hearing the news about the death of comedian Robin Williams.  I had actually planned to write the post about actor Philip Seymour Hoffman who died earlier this year.  How terrible to now be writing about TWO wonderful performers who entertained us for years.

Robin Williams' death was a suicide, following his latest bout of deep depression.  And Philip Seymour Hoffman's death was deemed an accidental overdose of heroin.  However, the actor had supposedly stopped using heavy drugs, so I can't help wondering how accidental that choice was to use that dangerous narcotic again.

I can't believe we won't get to watch Robin Williams literally create a hiliarious
routine out of thin air right on camera before our eyes.   Totally extemporaneous.  He was a comedic genius.  His range was unbelievable.   He  could make us laugh until we cried as a comedian, then he
could portray an intriguing character in a movie like THE DEAD POETS SOCIETY.  Wow. . .that was years ago.

One movie that most people would call a comedy---GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM---actually gave Williams the chance to show different layers to the character of a soldier who wanted to leave Vietnam and winds up becoming a fixture on the GI's radio station and falls in love with a lovely Vietnamese girl, who has a very protective family. :)   A versatile talent, to say the least.

So was actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.  I won't even try to  list all the wonderful movies where he created memorable characters.  This past weekend, I saw one that will probably (or should) earn him a posthumous Academy Award for Best Actor for his understated-yet-riveting performance in the new movie A MOST WANTED MAN.  Go see it.  You won't regret it.  All of the actors are excellent, and the storyline is as topical as it can be.  Also a spy thriller.

I'm sad tonight.   Two bright, unbelievably talented lights are gone.