In this article on Mic, Derrick Clifton breaks down 4 ways that Robin Williams challenged perspectives on gender conformity and women’s rights.

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In films like Mrs. Doubtfire and The Birdcage, Robin Williams never acted like the joke of his performance was his feminine dress or mannerisms. He mocked his circumstances, not people. The dresses, the heels, and the makeup of Mrs. Doubtfire all played necessary roles in the wonderful, absurd process of making things work when the world is working against you. For Williams, the humor was in that process – the messy and flawed process of living. His characters were full and deep and human, uniquely alive.

In the film The Birdcage Williams’ character delivers this line to costar, Nathan Lane:

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“…you’re not young, you’re not new, and you do make people laugh…I’m still with you because you make me laugh. So you know what I got to do? I got to sell my plot in Key Biscayne so I can get one next to you in that shithole Los Copa, so I never miss a laugh.”

Losing Robin Williams isn’t just losing a laugh. It’s losing someone whose comedy expanded our notions of who we could be, and of who it is valuable to be. 

Photos from tvandfilmprops, antiekllc, and nukethefridge.