Subscriber content preview. or Sign In
Richard Corliss has crafted exquisite stories on tight deadlines many times before, including cover-length portraits of Johnny Cash and Jimmy Stewart. But he counts Robin Williams’ death by his own hand as the most shocking. “The loss is more seismic, more poignant. His millions of fans have one question: Why? And one thought: Thank you.” Corliss is too wise to conduct an arm’s-length postmortem; but he does recall meeting Williams at a press luncheon in Cannes in 1998. “This was the calm, thoughtful Robin, bringing shading and insight to each reporter’s questions,” Richard says. “I now wonder if his cacophony of voices, his inner angel-demons, were making inspired fun of us all.”
Corliss was hard at work on his tribute when word came of Lauren Bacall’s passing–two precocious stars with enduring power whose careers played out across 70 years of history.