“This might be the one time I’m speechless,” said the late, great Robin Williams during his Best Supporting Actor Oscar acceptance speech for “Good Will Hunting.” Williams passed away Monday at the age of 63.
Williams’ Oscar triumph in 1997 propelled this one-time jokester from a popular comedian to a bonafide acting heavyweight. After three previous losses in the Best Actor race — “Good Morning, Vietnam” in 1987, “Dead Poets Society” in 1989 and “The Fisher King” in 1991 — Williams finally claimed Oscar gold in the supporting race for playing therapist Dr. Sean Maguire in the uplifting Boston-set drama.
In his acceptance sppech, he cited his four fellow nominees: Robert Forster (“Jackie Brown”), Anthony Hopkins (“Amistad”), Greg Kinnear (“As Good as it Gets”) and Burt Reynolds (“Boogie Nights”). “Thank you for putting me in a category with these four extraordinary men,” he said.
But this is Williams we’re talking about, so, of course, his speech was also filled with laugh-out-loud moments, like when he thanked “Good Will Hunting’s” fish-out-of-water writers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon by joking, “I still want to see some ID.”
Williams also took a moment to honor the most important people in his life. “I want to thank Marsha for being the woman who lights my soul on fire every morning. God bless you. And most of all, I want to thank my father, up there. The man who, when I said I wanted to be an actor, he said, ‘Wonderful, just have a back-up profession, like welding.'”
Looking back, perhaps the most heart-wrenching moment of Williams’ relatively short time in the Oscar spotlight was seeing the face of Oscars host Billy Crystal grinning ear to ear as he watched his buddy Williams take the stage for the first and only time.
What was your favorite Robin Williams movie, TV series or performance? Sound off in the comments section below the video of Williams’ Oscar acceptance speech.