Few actors have made the world laugh more than Robin Williams. His signature zany antics were there from the very beginning as the goofy humanoid alien Mork on “Happy Days,” before spinning off into his own show, “Mork and Mindy.” Williams made the leap to the big screen in 1980 with “Popeye,” leading to a bevy of roles in beloved comedies like “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “The Birdcage,” and “Death to Smoochy.” But Williams wasn’t just a comedic actor, as his impressive dramatic chops are seen in “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Dead Poets Society,” and “Good Will Hunting,” all of which garnered him Oscar love. He also lent his acrobatic voice to the animated films “Aladdin” and “Happy Feet.”
But as versatile an actor as he was, he was barred from trying out for a role in one of the biggest film franchises of all time: the “Harry Potter” series. When it came time to cast for “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the film’s casting director Janet Hirshenson told the Huffington Post, “Robin [Williams] had called [director Chris Columbus] because he really wanted to be in the movie, but it was a British-only edict, and once he said no to Robin, he wasn’t going to say yes to anybody else, that’s for sure. It couldn’t be.” The British-only rule was the novel’s writer J.K. Rowling’s idea, and it’s an understandable one. Still, as great as Robbie Coltrane was as Hagrid, it would’ve been a blast seeing Williams as the half-giant gamekeeper.