First Robin Williams, and now the man he played in one of his most famous roles has passed away.
Adrian Cronauer, the name that became famous as the inspiration behind “Good Morning Vietman,” has died at the age of 79.
Cronauer is a veteran of the Air Force.
Back in 1965, he was assigned to be the News Director for Armed Forces Radio in Saigon.
Not long after his arrival, the morning host spot opened up and Cronauer sat down in the chair as the featured DJ.
He opened up the morning show with the famous line, “Gooood Morning Vietnammmm!”
Cronauer stated he actually created his sign-on style while serving in Crete.
He was not sure if the upbeat greeting would work, however, in Vietnam.
“They’re young guys in this horrendous heat, slogging through rice paddies with mosquitoes the size of Mack trucks, picking leeches off themselves, shooting and fighting and killing and being killed,” Cronauer stated.
He eventually decided to keep the greeting as is, hoping the soldiers would be able to pick up on the intended irony… and they did.
TV Show to Movie
In the late 70s, shows like “WKRP in Cincinnati” and “M*A*S*H” were at the top of the ratings.
Since his story had both elements, Cronauer thought it was the perfect time to pitch his story to Hollywood.
Fortunately, as it turned out, nobody was interested in the TV show.
Later, though, the script found its way into Robin Williams’ hands, and he loved it.
As often happens, the original pitch was only an inspiration, as the movie is largely fictionalized.
At first, Cronauer was upset, but he finally took it for what it was, entertainment, and loved it.
And, while mostly fiction, Williams himself stated that Cronauer was very influential in how he portrayed the character in the movie.