Legal Cheek’s exclusive Robin Williams tribute — comedy genius broke into films playing a lawyer

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Renowned American comedian and actor started movie career in forgettable role as a courtroom hack


Robin Williams — who died yesterday aged 63 in a suspected suicide — has been hailed as a comic genius by just about everyone who has ever laughed.

But it is not widely reported that the man who shot to fame as the alien Mork in a US sit-com aimed initially at children and who went on to win an Oscar for his role as a psychiatrist in 1997’s “Good Will Hunting” got his start in the movies playing … a lawyer.

Williams had a short role as an unnamed courtroom hack in an entirely forgettable film called “Can I Do it Till I Need Glasses?”. Released 20 years before “Good Will Hunting”, the picture was dismissed by the New York Times as being little more than “a randy revue, which features jokes, bedroom vignettes, and courtroom scenes”.

Indeed, the 73-minute running time meant “Can I do it …?” barely qualified as feature length. And as the clip here illustrates, the quality of the script didn’t exactly give Williams the best start in Hollywood.

Nonetheless, he overcame the stigma of being a dickie-bow-wearing comedy lawyer (as well as a dentist — his second role in the film), to become one of Hollywood’s most bankable and respected actors. Further illustrating that a legal career needn’t blight the rest of one’s life.