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Friday, December 19, 2014

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Robin Williams death: shocking loss

Updated 10:23 am, Tuesday, August 12, 2014

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  • Robin Williams was a civic treasure. Photo: Ken Hively, McClatchy-Tribune News Service
    Robin Williams was a civic treasure. Photo: Ken Hively, McClatchy-Tribune News Service

 

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As an actor and comedian, Robin Williams was as brilliant as he was versatile. Away from the bright lights, his calling card was his resilience.

To longtime fans of the 63-year-old Williams, the news of his death on Monday was all the more stunning because he seemed to have reached a point of peace in his life. In a 2013 Chronicle profile, he said, "You get to a certain point where you are grateful for what you have ... You accept the idea of there being some things you can change and some things you can't."

At that moment, Williams had surrounded himself with hope and change: a renewed sobriety, a new wife, a new heart and a new television series, "The Crazy Ones" that was drawing critical praise.

The Bay Area seemed the perfect fit for a celebrity who preferred to bypass the glamour and temptations of Hollywood. He was generous with his time and his dollars for local causes, large and small. He liked to work close to home, and his efforts provided a nice boost to the local industry.

He observed with pleasure that paparazzi in the Bay Area were as rare as "a Bigfoot sighting" - and for good reason. He was not an oddity, he was one of us. His death is a loss for the arts world and a loss for the San Francisco Bay Area.