Robin Williams: Photographers Remember a Legendary Actor

Dan Winters
Photographed by Dan Winters in 2002

"It was 2002, around the time that he stared in the film One Hour. Mark Romanek had directed it and he played a guy who worked at a one-hour photo shop who was obsessed with one of his women customers. It was a serious role and a real departure for him — he played kind of a sociopath. The photographs are trying to reflect that a little bit. It’s not that I was trying to present him as a sociopath but that they were not the typical Robin Williams fare of jokes and over the top humor and comedy. The thing I remember the most about the shoot is that he had a natural disposition to get big and be big and it was a challenge to bring him back in, to an internal state rather then external. He’s a physical comedian. The funny story is that he shot a film in 1980s at my high school in California. He came to our Drama class and talked about acting — he didn’t lecture us, it was a dialogue and it was the most wonderful, gentle moment because it was so human. I brought that up when he showed up to our shoot years later. He instantly remembered it. That was a really cool full-circle experience."

Legendary actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead in his home in Marin County, Calif. on Monday, Aug. 11. Police confirmed Williams’ death as a suicide on Tuesday afternoon.

A veteran of screen and stage, Williams’ career spanned decades, from stand-up to sitcoms to Academy accolades and Oscar wins. A comic genius with a dark side, he inspired generations of performers with his spastic slapstick and gut-wrenching sincerity.

His status as a major Hollywood actor landed him in front of many photographers, who have as many memories of their time with him as they have images to match them. To mark his tragic and untimely passing, and honor his influential career, TIME LightBox presents a selection of photographs accompanied by the recollections of the photographers who made them. Together, they tell the story of a kind and complicated man.

Krystal Grow is a contributor to TIME LightBox. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @kgreyscale

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