1 'Popeye' (1980)
Williams' first leap to the big screen was considered a misfire by many at the time, as director Robert Altman’s idiosyncratic musical take on the spinach-eating sailor was a collision of one world too many to satisfy fans of the cartoon. But decades later, Williams' entirely committed, pipe-chewing turn has become a cult classic.
2 'The World According to Garp' (1982)
Straight off TV's 'Mork and Mindy,' Williams attempted to prove himself as a serious actor in this adaptation of the bestselling novel by John Irving. The film failed to take off, but Williams was widely praised for an intense yet restrained performance that seemed light years from his extraterrestrial sitcom character
3 'Moscow on the Hudson' (1984)
Russian-accented characters would become something of a fulltime side gig for Williams in the years to come, but the voice was first heard in this touching and poignant dramatic comedy by the late Paul Mazursky (who also passed away this year) about an immigrant’s struggle to adapt to New York City.
4 'Good Morning, Vietnam' (1987)
Williams got the chance to tap into his manic improvisational energy in his role as a untamable disc jockey entertaining the troops during the Vietnam War. The role earned Williams the first of what would be four Oscar nominations during his career.
5 'Dead Poets Society' (1989)
Once again playing an untamable truth-speaker, Williams' portrayal of an inspirational English teacher at a stuffy boarding school became the the-teacher-who-changed-your-life prototype for the generation that grew up with the film. The part earned him his second Oscar nomination.
6 'Cadillac Man' (1990)
While you could imagine an entire movie just based on Williams as a fast-talking car salesman, the comedy took an interesting turn as his character had to use his skills of persuasion to talk down a crazed gunman (Tim Robbins) who storms the dealership, threatening to kill everybody unless his wife who works there (Annabella Sciorra) admits to having an affair.
7 'Awakenings' (1990)
Williams received a Golden Globe nomination for playing a fictionalized version of Dr. Oliver Sacks, the neurologist who uses an experimental drug to revive catatonic patients (including one played by Robert De Niro). Williams stiffly contained his natural exuberance to play the painfully shy physician, who is finally able to live outside himself through the example of his patients, who make the most of their fleeting chance to experience life.
8 'The Fisher King' (1991)
Director Terry Gilliam put a surreal spin on Williams' manic persona. Here he plays a homeless man who drags an alcoholic former shock jock (Jeff Bridges) out of his grim solitude through a fantastical search for the Holy Grail, which may or may not be in Grand Central Station. This was Williams' second collaboration with Gilliam, after his short scene as the King of the Moon in 'The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.'
9' Hook' (1991) 《铁钩船长》
In Steven Spielberg’s big-budget take on the Peter Pan fairytale, Williams plays the titular imp, who’s an overburdened corporate lawyer forced to rescue his kids from the nefarious Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman). Though the movie was panned by critics, it gave Williams the chance to mix his trademark wild comedy with warm-hearted sentimentality — a hallmark of some of his later films.
10 'Aladdin' (1992)
Perhaps the purest expression of Williams’ motor-mouth comedic genius turned out to be his booming, bravura performance as the voice of the giant blue Genie in Disney’s animated musical.