Sarasota mourns the sudden loss of performer Robin Williams

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Posted: Monday, August 11, 2014 10:41 pm

Energetic, improvisational, with acid sharp wit. Robin Williams was like no other.

He burst on the scene in TV's 'Mork and Mindy', but then played deep roles later in his career, like Dead Poet's society.

Sarasota-based national comedian Tim Wilkins welled-up when he heard the news.

"Robin Williams was a huge influence on me. Even in his movies, they all had such a range of emotions. It's such a huge loss there will never be another Robin Williams," Wilkins said.

Many people on the streets of Sarasota feel the same way:

"I was pretty devastated, I've seen a lot of his movies, Mrs. Doubtfire was my favorite," said Julie Carrol.

"He was so talented, it's an absolute shame," said Greg Richards.

"He's a funny guy like Jim Carey, he made all the good comedies, it's just a shame he'd go out like that," said Jorge Perez.

"It's like Chris Farley, he was the happy person..but they say the people who are happiest are actually the most miserable people," said Kayla Finsted.

Williams died of an apparent suicide. We asked comedian Wilkins about that dichotomy, happy comedians who are sad inside:

"In comedy it's never surprising when someone's so tortured inside they can't take it," he began.

Wilkins says for many comedians, being on stage is there only moment of sanity.

"Of sharing and letting it all out, it just bottles and boils and they can't take it," he said.

And sometimes it boils over, and we lose someone we felt like we knew for years.

"He's a treasure, a national treasure, but to the comedy world there will never be another Robin Williams," Wilkins said.

Robin Williams was 63 years old.

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