Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Robin Williams and Science Fiction: From Mork to Bicentennial Man

You've likely heard about comedian/actor Robin Williams' unfortunate death. Like many people, I enjoy watching his movies and shows and was shocked to hear about his death. In honor of his life, I'd like to highlight his contribution to the science fiction community since that's where he got his big start in showbiz.
Robin Williams and Pam Dawber as Mork and Mindy (Wikipedia)

Williams had his break into popularity when he played the alien Mork in Happy Days. The character was so successful that he got his own show called Mork and Mindy. He also hosted the TV movie E.T. and Friends: Magical Movie Visitors (1982) and played as Professor Philip Brainard in Flubber (1997). In addition, he showcased some of his comedic talents as the voice of Fender in the animated movie Robots (2005). But he's also played more serious roles. Although his role as the voice of the hologram Dr. Know from A.I. - Artificial Intelligence (2001) may be a stretch, he played in a serious role as Alan Hakman in The Final Cut (2004).

The movie I want to share a scene from is Bicentennial Man (1999), where he played as an android named Andrew that tries to become human. The film is "based on the novel The Positronic Man, co-written by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg, which is itself based on Asimov's original novella titled The Bicentennial Man." (Wikipedia) Here is a scene from the movie (spoilers):

In memory of Robin Williams, here is a quote from his Andrew character: "I try to make sense of things. Which is why, I guess, I believe in destiny. There must be a reason that I am as I am. There must be."


  1. "Bicentennial Man" is a movie I'd forgotten about, but you're right. It's an essential film for fans of Williams.

    1. I think people forget about that movie because it's one of his serious works instead of comedy.


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