GLAAD was sad to learn that actor and comedian Robin Williams passed away yesterday. Through his work in film and television and his real life advocacy, Williams showed his strong support for the LGBT community.
While Williams' most well-known gay role is his portrayal of The Birdcage's cabaret owner Armand Goldman, he starred in several LGBT-inclusive films and series throughout his career. He played the title character in 1982's film adaptation The World According to Garp which co-starred John Lithgow as transgender former football player Roberta Muldoon. Roberta is considered by many to be one of the first sympathetic transgender characters in a film made for a mass audience. The 2006 drama The Night Listener, based on the Armistead Maupin novel of the same name, saw Williams play gay radio show host Gabriel Noone. Williams also had an uncredited cameo in the comedy To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar and 1993's Mrs. Doubtfire featured Harvey Fierstein as Williams' gay brother.
In his most recent television series, The Crazy Ones, Brad Garrett played a married gay man who was the co-owner of the ad agency with Williams' character. In the new indie film Boulevard, Williams' plays Nolan Mack, a man who is dealing with coming out late in life. The film premiered earlier this year at Tribeca Film Festival, but does not yet have a theatrical release date.
Williams was also a friend and ally to the LGBT community through his real life advocacy, including attending the 15th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in 2004, where he presented a special award to then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in recognition of his decision to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
We're saddened by the loss of such a strong ally and grateful for the outstanding work he did during his life to promote equality and bring LGBT stories to mainstream audiences.