Published December 26, 2012
Everyone thinks they’re a comedian. Or, at least, they do behind the ranks in Saigon, Vietnam in the 1987 film “Good Morning, Vietnam.” Adrian Cronauer (played by a 36-year-old Robin Williams) is flown in from the Isle of Crete, to be a radio DJ and provide a much-needed morale boost for the American troops. But there’s a war at the radio station when Adrian’s quips fail to make some of his superiors laugh. Things get political when Adrian learns hard lessons about whose side he’s really on during the Vietnam War. It’s been 25 years since this bunch of wisecracks teamed up for “Good Morning, Vietnam” and our friends at Snakkle.com find out where they are now.
PHOTOS: See all the pics of 'Good Morning, Vietnam’ – Where Are They Now 25 Years Later
Robin Williams as Adrian Cronauer
Adrian Conauer, a goofball DJ, flies to Saigon, Vietnam to host the Armed Forces Radio Show. While his superiors Second Lieutenant Steven Hauk and Sergeant Major Phillip Dickerson go by the book, Adrian can’t help but cross the line on the air for the sake of comedy. His trademark greeting “Gooooood Morning, Vietnam!” and unusual take on the news may lift soldiers’ spirits, but also puts him in the line of fire, figuratively and literally.
Robin Williams NOW
Already a popular comedian on stage, TV and film, Robin Williams’ lead performance in “Good Morning Vietnam” did not go unnoticed by critics and he was nominated for an Academy Award. While he didn’t win that year, he went on to win an Oscar in 1998 for Best Supporting Actor in “Good Will Hunting.” Williams impressed audiences with unusual roles, like in his 2002 thriller “One Hour Photo,” and kept people laughing with roles like the genie in “Aladdin” (1992) or “Night at the Museum” (2006). As co-founder of the Windfall Foundation, Williams now spends much of his time devoted to charity work, some comedy-related and some that is not.
Forest Whitaker as Edward Garlick
Private First Class Edward Montesquieu Garlick is the first person to greet Adrian in Saigon, he also happens to be the radio assistant. Edward is young and as yet unaffected by the stern demeanors of his superiors. He tries to look out for Adrian, especially when Adrian starts slipping censored news items over the air. “Oh Edward, don’t you ever do anything not by the book?” “Not when it gets me in trouble…” Ever a fan, of the comic, his last favor to him when Edward takes over the show is a recording of Adrian saying “Goooooooodbye, Vietnam!”
Forest Whitaker NOW
After “Good Morning, Vietnam,” the multitalented and creative actor, director and producer played a captive British soldier in “The Crying Game” (1992), which proved Whitaker could be a powerful presence on the screen. After some compelling supporting performances, his role in “The Last King of Scotland” (2006) as dictator Idi Amin won him an Academy Award for Best Actor. In 2012, Whitaker married the actress Keisha Nash (who he met while filming “Blow Away” in 1994) and they have four children: Ocean, Autumn, Sonnet and True. Talk about being creative!
Bruno Kirby as Steven Hauk
“That is not what we program, here!” Lieutenant Steven Hauk means well, he thinks he’s a funny, politically correct guy. He even has two jokes that “Reader’s Digest” might publish. But when Adrian waltzes onto the show, Hauk’s failed attempts at comedy fall flat compared to Adrian’s more natural gags. In fact, when Hauk takes over during Adrian’s suspension, servicemen listeners practically boycott the show in order to get Adrian back on the air. Poor Hauk, if Adrian hadn’t showed up, they wouldn’t have known what they’d been missing.
Perhaps best remembered as Pete Clemenza in “The Godfather Part II,” Bruno Kirby’s non-intended comedic performance in “Good Morning Vietnam” made him ideal for the role of Jess in “When Harry Met Sally…” (1989), best friend to Harry Burns played by comedian Billy Crystal. He and Billy teamed up again in 1991 for the cult classic “City Slickers.” In 2003, Kirby married the actress Lynn Sellers, but he sadly passed away in 2006 due to Leukemia-related illness.