A Lookback: Robin William's Most Spiritual and Inspiring Movie Roles

Aug 12, 2014 11:39 AM EDT

Good Will Hunting - Robin William
Williams, left, and Damon, right, star in ''Good Will Hunting''

The world was left stunned on Monday as one Hollywood's greatest actors died. Comedic genius Robin Williams, 63, was found dead in his Bay Area apartment due to an apparent suicide.

Although struggling with severe depression and substance addiction in his personal life, Williams played many comedic, lighthearted characters onscreen such as "Mrs. Doubtfire," "Hook," and "Jumanji."

However, the actor also brought his genius to several serious, poignant films, including the 1998 drama "What Dreams May Come"-which, according to Bustle columnist Alanna Bennet, "much like Williams' life and career, juggles the horrors of a tormented mind with the ecstatic joys of art and life."

The movie focuses on the concept of death and the afterlife as William's character, Chris Neilson, dies in a car accident several years after losing his children. In this scene, Neilson wakes up in a beautiful, exquisite place known as the "afterlife." In the afterlife, Neilson is reunited with his beloved dog, and wonders if he is in "dog heaven."

Throughout the film, Neilson is able to come to come face to face with depression and pain, and ultimately, come to terms with death and the afterlife, a depiction of heaven complete with beautiful, vibrant colors and scenery.

In 1997, William's performance in "Good Will Hunting" earned him an Oscar nomination-and inspired all who viewed the film.

The movie is one of William's most beloved films, in which he played Sean Maguire, a psychiatrist and widower who helps Matt Damon's brilliant but troubled young janitor Will find his way in the world.

Following his death, fans honored the actor at the spot where he touched the most hearts during his impressive career, with fans writing Good Will Hunting quotes by the bench in Boston where his character conveyed the beauty of worldly experience and meaning of selfless love.

As thousands around the world mourn the death of the brilliant, tormented actor, President Obama released a statement shortly after the news broke, remembering how Williams "touched every element of the human spirit."

"Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien - but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most - from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets," Obama said in the statement.

"The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin's family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams."

For those struggling with suicide, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.