Robin Williams, the late comedy icon, was not only a supporter of gay rights, but played gay roles in at least three of his movies.
The 63-year-old Williams was found dead on Monday at his home in Marin County, California. It is believed that he committed suicide.
The beloved Oscar-winner had battled with depression and addiction for many years, but the news of his death came as a shock after almost four decades of entertaining the world.
Williams played gay roles in a number of films in his impressive career. Perhaps his best-known and most popular was that of nightclub owner Armand Goldman in 1996’s comedy hit The Birdcage.
He excelled in a more serious and sensitive take on gay life in The Night Listener (2006), in which he starred as Gabriel Noone, a radio presenter struggling with the breakup of his relationship with his younger same-sex partner.
In one of his most recent films, this year’s Boulevard, Williams played Nolan Mack, a married man who begins the journey of self-discovery late in life, including accepting his homosexuality.
The star was a supporter of same-sex marriage rights, and appeared at the LGBT teen suicide prevention organisation’s Trevor Project Hero Awards in 2011.
Nathan Lane, Hank Azaria and Robin Williams in The Birdcage
He also cracked a joke in which he stated: “You could talk about same-sex marriage, but people who have been married [say] ‘It’s the same sex all the time.’”
His other popular films include Dead Poet’s Society, Good Will Hunting (for which he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar) and the drag comedy blockbuster Mrs. Doubtfire.
He received three Academy Award nominations for Best Actor, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and five Grammy Awards.