ALADDIN Composer Alan Menken Reacts to Passing of Robin Williams
As the world mourns the loss of comedic great Robin Williams, composer Alan Menken, who worked with the actor in the hit animated Disney film ALADDIN, gave Billboard a statement on his reaction to the tragic news:
"If I had only watched Robin Williams on the TV screen, in the movies or on stage, I would consider myself blessed for having simply experienced his brilliance, his joy, his humor and his heart. The fact that I had the honor of sharing the creative process with him is an honor and a privilege that I will cherish for the rest of my life."
The comedian and Academy Award-winner died yesterday morning, August 11, 2014 at the age of 63. The coroner's office in Tiburon, Calif., has reported the death as probable suicide via asphyxiation.
His publicist issued the following statement: "Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The Family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time."
Williams was a fixture of the entertainment world, a renowned comedian, screen actor and stage star. He rose to fame after his role as 'Mork' in the TV series Mork & Mindy and went on to star in the movies Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Awakenings, The Fisher King and Good Will Hunting, for which he won the 1997 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
The actor starred on the silver screen in comedies such as Popeye, Hook, Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, The Birdcage, Night at the Museum and Happy Feet.
He recently appeared in the films The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, Boulevard and Lee Daniels' The Butler, as well as The Comedy series The Crazy Ones opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar. Williams' upcoming projects include Merry Friggin' Christmas, Absolutely Anything and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.
Williams made his Broadway debut in 2002 in Robin Williams: Live on Broadway and returned in 2011 for Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. He also appeared off-Broadway opposite Steve Martin in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot at Lincoln Center in 1988.
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