Cal  Thomas

"I once brought my two young children to "The Tonight Show" to meet Robin. They had watched the video of 'Hook' many times, and were mesmerized by his performance as Peter Pan in the 1991 film. When Robin came out of his dressing room, and saw my 3-year-old son David and my 7-year-old daughter Melissa, he immediately crouched down, so he could be eye level with them. David asked Robin how he was able to fly in the film. Without missing a beat, Robin answered: 'A little magic and very tight pants.' Both the kids and the adults laughed, but for different reasons because Robin was playing to both audiences. That's true comedic genius."

Psychiatrist Keith Ablow, appearing on Fox News, said "95 percent" of people with clinical depression are treatable. Whether Robin Williams was among the 5 percent who aren't, or there were other factors, we may never know.

In one of his most profound roles, that of poetry teacher John Keating in the 1989 film "Dead Poets Society," Williams told his students: "We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for."

It's sad to see someone who could make so many people laugh suffer from depression. Worse, his death and the loss of his talent add to the general gloominess that hangs over much of the world.

Cal Thomas

Get Cal Thomas' new book, What Works, at Amazon.

Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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