WHITNEY, MICHAEL, Hoffman... You come out of watching an episode of EastEnders or True Blood, and it's there live on News 24. BREAKING. And then the name. Whitney, Michael, Hoffman... Dead at 48, 50, 46. There's the scrolling text along the bottom of the screen, the aerial footage of the death scene. A house, somewhere.
There's the shock of losing a loved one, but it's someone we never met. How do we process it? We think about their work, that song, that picture, that iconic moment. The good, the bad. We think, how did it come to this? Why did no one step in, step up?
Whitney, Michael, Hoffman. And now Robin.
It was only recently that I finally caught Mrs Doubtfire. Not long before that One Hour Photo. I still haven't seen Dead Poets Society. When I was a kid, I used to stick in my parent's VHS tape of The World According To Garp for the sexy nude scene. But whenever I hear Robin Williams, one picture comes to mind: The Birdcage, that joyful, mad, brilliant late '90s comedy tour de force. It's perfect, No.2 on the kaos Top 30 Gay Films of All Time. Haven't seen it? You should feel ashamed.
All that talent, all that success. You'd think you'd have it all, right? But Robin Williams, that funny dude from Mork & Mindy, took his own life at the age of 63. The guy who made so many of us laugh so much was in such pain that he took his own life. Imagine that. It's almost unbearable. It's heartbreaking.
What will you feel next time you watch Mrs Doubtfire?