Robin Williams – (1951 – 2014)

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I toyed with writing this piece today. Hesitated because I didn’t want a surge of traffic in the sense that folks would feel I was exploiting a sad situation. However, this man played such a pivotal role in my growing up, in my love for movies and in my ability to make people laugh that I felt I had to say something.

I think the first movie I ever remember seeing that starred Robin Williams was Hook. It amazed me and Robin was perfectly cast as an adult Peter Pan. If you’re going to travel to a magical land then you need someone magical to take you there, and Robin Williams was a kind of magic. He had the ability to always make people smile, to light up a room and instantly turn the mundane into the spectacular. All this I got from just seeing him on screen. I never knew him personally, but his passing has left such a weight in my heart that I find it hard to breathe. It’s like losing a relative, and that is no exaggeration. I too suffer with depression so I have some inkling as to what this wonderful man went through. I just hope that he now has the peace in death that he never had in life. God bless you mate, you will be greatly missed.

JM

Harold Ramis 1944 – 2014

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I am absolutely gutted to be writing this. News emerged today that much loved actor, writer and director Harold Ramis sadly passed away. He was 69 yrs old and had been fighting illness for the past few years. He died from complications resulting from auto-immune inflammatory vasculitis, which is an inflammation of the blood vessels. Harold Ramis was a massive part of my youth, as I am sure he was for many people. He is of course probably best known for playing Egon Spengler in the Ghostbusters movies, but he was also a brilliant writer and director responsible for films like Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation and Multiplicity. He will be greatly missed by all and my thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time.

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JM

Paul Walker 1973 – 2013

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It is with a heavy heart that I write this today. News has just come to my attention that Paul Walker, star of the Fast & Furious movies, was killed in a car crash this afternoon. The car, a Porsche GT, was being driven by his friend when it collided into a telegraph pole and exploded, killing both of them. The star had been giving rides in his car at an event for his organisation ‘Reach Out Worldwide’. His publicist confirmed that he was one of the people killed in the crash. He had been working on Fast and Furious 7 at the time. RIP buddy.

JM