A year ago today, a man who had spent his life making the world laugh suddenly brought it to tears. It was on Aug. 11, 2014, that the larger-than-life comedian Robin Williams ended his own life.
“Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between,” President Obama said in a statement at the time, adding, “But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit."
John Lipton once said on an episode of "Inside the Actor's Studio" that trying to categorize the unpredictable Williams was like trying to catch "lightening in a butterfly net." Yet, while the diverse cast of colorful characters he played are hard to pigeonhole, these 10 quotes from the late Academy Award winner give an insight into his world view – and offer us a good lesson in the school of life from everyone's favorite fictional poetry professor:
1. "Comedy is acting out optimism."
2. "Do you think that God gets stoned once in a while? Look at a platypus. I think so."
3. "There's three things in this world that you need: respect for all kinds of life, a nice bowel movement on a regular basis, and a navy blazer."
4. "You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it."
5. "No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world."
6. "Like so many things, it is not what is outside, but what is inside that counts."
7. "I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone."
8. "If heaven exists, to know that there’s laughter, that would be a good thing."
9. "Death is nature's way of saying, 'Your table is ready!'"
10. "Only in their dreams can men be truly free. ‘Twas always thus and always thus will be."