Fans of iconic comedian/actor Robin Williams continue to mourn the loss of the star who committed suicide Monday, August 11th at his home in Tiburon, California. He was 63 and had reportedly suffered from depression for a number of years.
The actor has four films that have not been commercially released including a supporting role in “Night at the Museum 3” and voice work in “Absolutely Anything,” which features Simon Pegg and Kate Beckinsale as live action characters and Mr. Williams as “Dennis the Dog”. That film is scheduled to debut in 2015.
Hardcore fans of the actor might be more interested about his larger roles in two independent films. The family comedy “Merry Friggin’ Christmas,” which debuts in the U.S. on Nov. 7, also stars Joel McHale, Lauren Graham, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Candice Bergen. Williams pairs up with son McHale to save a disastrous family Christmas.
The indier/more dramatic option is Williams’ starring role in the Dito Montiel drama “Boulevard,” which debuted earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival and also played at OutFest in Los Angeles in July. In the film, Williams plays Nolan, a middle-aged unhappily married man who picks up a gay hustler one night and begins a secret relationship with the young man that originally consists of paid companionship but eventually leads to something more. Despite positive reviews, the film has yet to pick up a national distributor. It co-stars Roberto Aguire as the hustler; Kathy Baker as the wife, and actor/comedian Bob Odenkirk.
“Boulevard” was just one of several films where Williams played a gay role. The actor most famously starred in “The Birdcage” with Nathan Lane but also headlined the indy drama “The Night Listener” based on the novel by Armistead Maupin. Williams has also been criticized by some in the LGBTQ community for his over the top, stereotypically flamboyantly lisping gay impersonations in his stand-up act but the long time San Franciscan was also a vocal advocate for gay rights and a valuable ally.
As for “Boulevard”, given the prestige and subject matter of the film, it seems an obvious choice to play at the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival in October. When reached for comment, Three Dollar Bill Cinema’s Executive Director Jason Plourde responded that “Boulevard” is a film that lead programmer Kathleen Mullen is actively pursuing for this year’s Festival which runs October 9 through 19th.
In the meanwhile…
A Toast To Robin Williams.