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 Robin Williams Died at 63

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Date posted: 12/08/2014

Robin Williams, an actor who brougham heart and spontaneous comedy to any role he was given, died today at 63, a suspected suicide after struggling with severe depression and substance abuse problems.

He will long be remembered by many as being unafraid to tackle any role, and to continuously diverge from script in order to improve the performance and make it more human. Perhaps ironic when that role was of a robot trying to be a human, as in the Bicentennial Man, a powerful and frequently thought provoking iconic film exploring the natures and blurriness of the boundaries between strong AI and humanity. His performance deliberately keyed to ultimately question if there is really a difference.

Other works of his to delve deep into topics strongly related to virtual reality, and to human enhancement were the films What Dreams May Come and The Final Cut. In both he made profound contributions to discussions concerning the nature of reality, particularly the freedom of a crafted reality such as the ultimate VR or shared construct, and then to the nature of individuality and the difficulties inherent in dealing with things when you find out a prosthetic is recording everything you see and hear; exposing others secrets to all, with no way within your power to remove said new abilities or even turn them off.

In both it was Mr William's ability to spontaneously diverge from the script and use his comic genius to infuse heart and warmth into a role where perhaps none was intended, to make his characters familiar and with a multi-layered depth that conveyed the topic so much more powerfully that ultimately carried these films, and made them into the iconic contributions to actual research they have become. They fired up the imagination whilst at the same time asking truly thought provoking and game changing questions, ensconced in a work of fiction that existed to showcase the possibilities.

He will definitely be missed.

See the full Story via external site: www.bbc.co.uk

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