(VIRGINIA) — Adrian Cronauer, the disc jockey whose military stint became the inspiration for Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam, has died at 79 years old.
Jeff Hunt, who hired Cronauer at Roanoke FM station WPVR, confirmed the DJ’s Wednesday passing to the Roanoke Times. Hunt explained Cronauer had been living in a nursing home in Troutville, Virginia.
“Goooooooood morning, Vietnam!” was Cronauer’s signature sign-on for his morning show Dawn Buster, which he hosted from Siagon from 1965 to 1966. Williams portrayal of the real-life DJ earned him an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe win.
According to USA Today, the real Cronauer insisted that the hit 1987 Barry Levinson-directed movie took some real liberties with his life story. In 2008, according to the Military Times, he told a group of veterans that if he’d done half the things Robin Williams did in that movie, “I’d still be in Leavenworth [prison].”
Still, Cronauer was happy with the movie, especially its respectful portrayal of Americans who were sent overseas. He and Williams became friends after the film was completed, and he was reportedly “gobsmacked” by Williams’ death by suicide in 2014, according to the Military Times.
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