At the outset I apologize for the poor quality of the photo. It is a photograph of a photograph behind glass that has been sitting on a shelf in my library at home. I shot the original photo 26 years ago during the filming of "The Dead Poets Society." We received news late last night about the passing away of Robin Williams.
IN MEMORY OF MR. KEATING. In 1988 Peter Weir, the legendary Australian film producer/director, approached the Board of Trustees at St. Andrew's School and asked for the rights to make a film at the school. He explained, "We've visited schools up and down the East Coast and found St. Andrew's to have the most beautiful campus of them all." But, the screen play involved the tragic suicide of one of the students, and many of us on the Board were reticent to give our permission. A second former (8th grader) at the school had committed suicide just five years earlier, and the Board had subsequently dissolved the second form... on the advice of psychologists who had made a case for children that young requiring a different level of attention than the school could possibly give. But, we did finally give our blessing, and an unforgettable film starring Robin Williams as "Mr. Keating," and co-starring St. Andrew's School came to fruition. The film also became a launching pad for the careers of a number of young actors, including Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke and Lara Flynn Boyle. How tragic it is that this boundlessly talented actor succumbed to his own inner demons and took his own life. We frequently speak about movies imitating life. In this case, it was life imitating the movies.
During the filming in 1988, my family and I traipsed up to Delaware from our home in Virginia several times. The accompanying photo was shot during a break in the filming on one of these occasions, when Mr. Williams stepped out into the staircase in the Octagon (holding my ink sketch of the Octagon in his hands) for a group photo. The two gentlemen on the right are Peter Weir, the director, and Robert Sean Leonard, the actor who actually commits suicide in the film.
Critiques | Translate
SnapRJW (31629) 2014-08-12 8:25
A tragic end for a man that made so many smile. Thanks for sharing this with us Bulent.
miumiu (6113) 2014-08-12 8:50
Thanks for sharing this lovely photo.
I can't stop crying... I am so sorry... This is a very sad new...
CLODO (33980) 2014-08-12 10:02
Bad news, thanks for sharing this jewel on this site!
serp2000 (43792) 2014-08-12 12:27
It was very sad morning news today for me. He is great actor and we are still loving his roles. ...
Just no words.
Thanks, Bulent for this post.
mesutilgim (94502) 2014-08-12 12:40
Selam sevgili Bülent,
Güzel insanlar birer birer göçüp gidiyorlar.
Ne güzel bir anı. Herhalde uzun süre anılardan yaşayacak o da birkaç sene sonra pek çok benzeri gibi unutulup gidecek ne yazık ki.
Paylaşımın için teşekkürler, selam ve sevgiler
Royaldevon (37925) 2014-08-12 14:44
I share your sorrow, Bulent.
Robin Williams was a fine actor, responsible for making us laugh out loud on many occasions. It has often been said that comedians are sad inside.
Thank you for sharing this photograph, and your moments, Bev :-)
PiotrF (16854) 2014-08-12 15:02
Great actors do not die...
Thanks for sharing this with us Bulent.
stego (24132) 2014-08-12 16:13
A very sad event. I rarely say about someone "it is one of my favorites", but I certainly open an exception to Robin Williams. Death is always shocking, but knowing that someone who had the gift of putting everyone in a good mood only by his presence in the screen suffered from severe depression...
I remember well this photo and the little and interesting story associated with it, from here or from FB, but I like to see it again. It is a touching homage and very appropriate not by coincidence, one of the first posts I saw in FB about this sad event was by one of my close friends in FB with the title "Captain, my captain". Thank you, Bulent.
Warm regads, José.
daddo (26534) 2014-08-12 22:26
Hi Bulent. The more we read about the way Mr Williams lived and died the more poignant his life seems to be in retrospect, for me at least. I always found from the very first when he appeared on TV that there was something frenetic about him, verging on despair and even as I laughed, I felt uncomfortable. He tried so hard to be noticed in my opinion and in those troubled eyes and the often twisted smile I often saw a soul weeping behind the comic mask and the high pitched delivery. As the Russians say "laughter through tears." May his soul finally find the repose and love he was looking for. Klaudio.
papagolf21 (99586) 2014-08-12 23:38
Bonjour, cher ami bulent,
Vibrant hommage rendu à un acteur d'une grande qualité.
Que de souvenirs doivent émerger à travers cette photographie !
Tue (35232) 2014-08-13 13:19
A beautiful way to pay homage to the great actor on the day that brought such sad news. Thanks for sharing this with us.
jhm (151376) 2014-08-14 4:41
These movie actor was not so famous in Belgium, certainly not in Flemish Belgium.
Indeed your picture shows a lot grain on the faces, but the picture has a nice background with excellent contents
Excellent composition, nice captured.
Very well done, tFS.
alvaraalto (10496) 2014-08-14 6:42
This is again one of these sad moments that one realizes that money or success isnt a guaranty for a happy life.
You can for some time mislead your surroundings, but at the end never yourself.
resat1972 (7576) 2014-08-15 13:06
MErhaba Bülent Bey
Duygu dolu özel bir anı
photoray (13981) 2014-08-15 20:12
Fine candid and informative narrative with a young Mr. Williams and fellow film industry notables. Tragedy may strike at any time, the future is always unknown, which makes life a mystery but challenging.
Thanks for sharing,
mcmtanyel (21810) 2014-08-23 20:32
Selamlar Bülent Bey,
Yes, what a tragic loss! This must be a very fond memento of the event from 26 years ago, thank you for sharing it with us.
PS. I understand what you mean by I-95 being a parking lot. We got a little taste of it on our drive up to Philly from D.C. We kept reminding ourselves how fortunate we are not having to drive in such congested traffic in our neck of the woods.
- Copyright: Bulent Atalay (batalay) (38591)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 1988-12-00
- Categories: Decisive Moment
- Camera: Nikon-2020, 35-70mm
- Exposure: f/2.8, 1/338 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2014-08-12 6:18