Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

DFW

(54,824 posts)
Thu Jul 19, 2018, 07:18 PM Jul 2018

I just lost a friend. Everybody thinks they knew him. They are SO wrong.

Adrian Cronauer just died. He never got over the loss of his wife, and his health went downhill recently. A film was made about his time in Vietnam as a disc jockey, and the film characterization was so unlike the real Adrian, it's unreal.

I will post more about Adrian later. He is a real loss.

65 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
I just lost a friend. Everybody thinks they knew him. They are SO wrong. (Original Post) DFW Jul 2018 OP
🕯 underpants Jul 2018 #1
My condolences. RIP. OnDoutside Jul 2018 #2
sorry or your loss. You knew him? mnmoderatedem Jul 2018 #3
Yes, Adrian was a friend. DFW Jul 2018 #6
I look forward to your post B2G Jul 2018 #4
I'm so sorry for your loss, DFW. smirkymonkey Jul 2018 #5
🕯️ irisblue Jul 2018 #7
sorry to hear about his death. Demovictory9 Jul 2018 #8
I am so sorry. GoCubsGo Jul 2018 #9
RIP Adrian lunasun Jul 2018 #10
I'd very much like to hear about the "real" Cronauer.. His portrayal was so absorbed by the hlthe2b Jul 2018 #11
I'm very sorry for your loss. LuckyCharms Jul 2018 #12
Condolences. I'm sorry for your loss. onecaliberal Jul 2018 #13
*sigh* NBachers Jul 2018 #14
My condolences on your loss. herding cats Jul 2018 #15
As one who worships the real DJ's of that era gay texan Jul 2018 #16
I'm so sorry. mountain grammy Jul 2018 #17
I was very sorry to hear about Adrian Cronauer ailsagirl Jul 2018 #18
I'm so sorry. Duppers Jul 2018 #19
I was a DJ in Vietnam a bit later.. Sincere condolences. He was a lifelong Republican, for W. Bush's Prof.Higgins Jul 2018 #20
Sorry for your loss, DFW. R B Garr Jul 2018 #21
My sympathies, DFW. calimary Jul 2018 #22
R.I.P. Adrian Cronauer, a radio friend to our troups serving in Vietnam, and your friend. FailureToCommunicate Jul 2018 #23
Condolences,DFW on the loss of your friend. gademocrat7 Jul 2018 #24
I'm so sorry. I just read about him in the news. kcr Jul 2018 #25
... defacto7 Jul 2018 #26
May I add my condolences to all those already expressed? thucythucy Jul 2018 #27
I hadn't seen that, but it sums up what he'd tell anyone about his time there DFW Jul 2018 #41
This message was self-deleted by its author Chin music Dec 2020 #63
. AwakeAtLast Jul 2018 #28
My sincere condolences to you, DFW. oasis Jul 2018 #29
I heard of his passing on the radio. He was 70 years old, I think. Ilsa Jul 2018 #30
Adrian was 79 DFW Jul 2018 #34
Oops! I meant to type 9 but my fat finger hit 0. Yes, 79. Thanks. nt Ilsa Jul 2018 #39
This message was self-deleted by its author Chin music Dec 2020 #64
I read a lovely article about him. My condolences. He sounded like quite a man. nolabear Jul 2018 #31
So Sorry for the loss Cha Jul 2018 #32
Oh my dear DFW, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. CaliforniaPeggy Jul 2018 #33
Thanks for the kind words, all. About the REAL Adrian: DFW Jul 2018 #35
K&R! Thanks for this fascinating personal portrait! He also sounds like an amazing friend. Rhiannon12866 Jul 2018 #36
This message was self-deleted by its author Chin music Dec 2020 #65
At least I know that Troutville is real DFW Jul 2018 #37
We live 2 hours essme Jul 2018 #38
Thanks for your kind words DFW Jul 2018 #40
RIP. I had no idea he lived in Troutville, which is 5 minutes down the road from me. nt LexVegas Jul 2018 #42
requiescat in pace, Adrian. DFW, I am so very sorry for this sad loss. niyad Jul 2018 #43
Thanks. He was very special DFW Jul 2018 #44
a lovely tribute to your wonderful friend, thank you for sharing him with us. niyad Jul 2018 #45
My condolences. nt spooky3 Jul 2018 #46
I'm very sorry for your loss NewJeffCT Jul 2018 #47
Check my post #35 on this thread DFW Jul 2018 #48
Williams usually played himself NewJeffCT Jul 2018 #49
Adrian was happy about the film's success, of course DFW Jul 2018 #50
The thing that's funny is that I liked Williams in his dramatic roles the most TexasBushwhacker Jul 2018 #56
Good Morning Vietnam... FarPoint Jul 2018 #51
We know what it is to to know in our bones Hortensis Jul 2018 #52
That has to be a fairly recent picture DFW Jul 2018 #59
:) Maybe a semi-annual haircut? My husband Hortensis Jul 2018 #61
I live near Troutville. dgibby Jul 2018 #53
Condolences on your loss, DFW... Raster Jul 2018 #54
Thanks for that DFW Jul 2018 #58
My sincerest condolences DFW on the loss of your friend Docreed2003 Jul 2018 #55
Adrian had a very close connection to Vietnam Vets for obvious reasons DFW Jul 2018 #57
"Everybody thinks they knew him..." - seems a bit off... hexola Jul 2018 #60
I think you refute your own statement--my statement seems spot on to me DFW Jul 2018 #62

DFW

(54,824 posts)
6. Yes, Adrian was a friend.
Thu Jul 19, 2018, 07:29 PM
Jul 2018

I'm out with my wife and brother. I'll post in detail about him later on.

hlthe2b

(102,961 posts)
11. I'd very much like to hear about the "real" Cronauer.. His portrayal was so absorbed by the
Thu Jul 19, 2018, 07:41 PM
Jul 2018

Robin Williams persona, wonderful as that might be, that I'm not surprised to hear it wasn't reflective of the real man.

Did you know him from Vietnam? My sympathies.

Duppers

(28,150 posts)
19. I'm so sorry.
Thu Jul 19, 2018, 09:16 PM
Jul 2018

My sympathies to his family and to you.



I suspected when I saw the movie that Adrian's romance was totally fictitious and created for the story line. His conflicts with military hierarchy could also have been added.
He had to have made a big impression tho.


Prof.Higgins

(194 posts)
20. I was a DJ in Vietnam a bit later.. Sincere condolences. He was a lifelong Republican, for W. Bush's
Thu Jul 19, 2018, 09:45 PM
Jul 2018

2004 re-election of a government filled with shirkers. These shirkers had flat out lied us into the long military quagmire in Iraq, thus repeating the "egregious mistake" (Robert McNamara's apologetic words) of the Vietnam War. Of course, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton were also responsible for accepting these lies to authorize the Iraq War, but they were among many of those duped rather than being among the deliberate liars about Saddam's WMD. No wonder Trump brazenly tells so many preposterous lies, knowing full well that Republicans will never act to hold him to account.

Adrian deserves the highest praise for significantly alleviating the misery of troops in Vietnam and a his subsequent life of worthwhile public service. I am not disparaging him in the least; it's just a pity how even well-meaning folks who are genuine patriots like him sometimes can be be used by iniquitous politicians to support decisions that are actually extremely harmful for America.

calimary

(81,939 posts)
22. My sympathies, DFW.
Thu Jul 19, 2018, 09:59 PM
Jul 2018

This getting-old stuff is NOT easy, and we all know how it's gonna end.

I'm sorry you lost your friend. It's doubly difficult when it's a peer. Maybe he's Upstairs hanging out with Robin Williams.

Hugs.


kcr

(15,337 posts)
25. I'm so sorry. I just read about him in the news.
Thu Jul 19, 2018, 11:16 PM
Jul 2018

I'm so sorry for your loss. The article talked about how he wasn't like the movie character. It mentioned his many accomplishments, too. A great loss.

thucythucy

(8,236 posts)
27. May I add my condolences to all those already expressed?
Thu Jul 19, 2018, 11:28 PM
Jul 2018

Years back, curious about the accuracy (or not) of the portrayal, I found this on YouTube:



He seemed like a very sweet, self-effacing (and funny) guy.

Best wishes.

DFW

(54,824 posts)
41. I hadn't seen that, but it sums up what he'd tell anyone about his time there
Fri Jul 20, 2018, 09:52 AM
Jul 2018

He was indeed a joy to know. There were so many other sides to him than just his Vietnam time, but I think this clip gives a good indication of what an intellect he was.

Response to thucythucy (Reply #27)

Ilsa

(61,731 posts)
30. I heard of his passing on the radio. He was 70 years old, I think.
Thu Jul 19, 2018, 11:59 PM
Jul 2018

I remember the movie, in which RW seemed over-the-top, acting more like RW, but a good movie anyway.

My sincere condolences.

DFW

(54,824 posts)
34. Adrian was 79
Fri Jul 20, 2018, 12:58 AM
Jul 2018

Nicest guy you could want to meet, and, along with Wes Clark, one of the few real intellectuals I ever met in the military.

Response to DFW (Reply #34)

CaliforniaPeggy

(150,209 posts)
33. Oh my dear DFW, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.
Fri Jul 20, 2018, 12:56 AM
Jul 2018

It's one of the things I hate about getting older: the death of close friends. It tears at the heart.

My deepest condolences to you.

DFW

(54,824 posts)
35. Thanks for the kind words, all. About the REAL Adrian:
Fri Jul 20, 2018, 01:28 AM
Jul 2018

As a few found out/pointed out already, Adrian was NOTHING like the Robin Williams portrayal of him in "Good Morning Vietnam." The reason he dragged out his program introduction was that his equipment was so primitive, he had to start talking while adjusting all the settings manually at the same time. What he stretched out was "Good," so he'd say "Goooooooooooooood MORning Vietnam."

Unlike his movie persona, while it's true he got into fights with the traditionalists at the radio station, he liked to say that if he had done half the things the film said he did, he would have spent the rest of his life behind bars in Leavenworth.

It's also true that Adrian was a Republican, but not a frothing-at-the-mouth contemporary Republican. He was a soft-spoken intellectual. Over our last lunch together near the Pentagon, we must have covered thirty different topics from legal systems around the world to Asian cuisine to the dynasties of ancient Egypt. On a whim, he entered law school at age 50 (!!) in Pennsylvania. His last "posting," if you can call it that, was with a special office whose mission it was to work with the current governments of Vietnam and Cambodia to locate and recover the remains of US soldiers in those countries to try to give closure, even 40 years later, to the families of MIAs who were never accounted for.

He retired to a far corner of Virginia, not too far from Roanoke, but not too near, either. His mailing address was Troutville. Idiot that I was, I never stole the time to accept his standing invitation to visit him there. He had lost his wife fairly recently, and that was a crushing blow.

One funny note I'll edit in--one summer, when my younger daughter was in Law School, she was interning with the Düsseldorf office of a U.S. law firm. Not only did she get to live at home, she was a LOT safer than her summer before, when she worked for the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal in Sierra Leone. One of her classmates stopped by, and asked if I knew anyone in the military, as one of his summer projects involved something related. I said I only knew Adrian Cronauer, but I'd be happy to get him on the phone if the kid wanted. My daughter's classmate thought I was bullshitting him, so I grabbed the phone and called Adrian in Troutville, explained what was going on, and he said sure, put him on, and so I handed him the phone and said "here's Adrian." The kid was completely intimidated and excited at the same time, never expecting to be talking to a living legend a minute after doubting he ever would. Adrian, of course, was never impressed with his status as a legend, only grudgingly accepted it in the first place, and was happy to help out.

To answer a question asked above, no, I did not meet Adrian in Vietnam. I was 13-14 during his time there. He would have been 80 in September, so he was almost 14 years older than I was. We met at the Renaissance Weekend gatherings that take place every New Year's in Charleston, South Carolina. While there, I introduced him to a friend of mine from Paris. Another intellectual type, she was writing a book on the subject of luck, and Adrian consented to be interviewed by her for a chapter.

Here is a picture of Adrian and Sabine (our friend from Paris) close to ten years ago:

[URL=.html][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

Rhiannon12866

(209,077 posts)
36. K&R! Thanks for this fascinating personal portrait! He also sounds like an amazing friend.
Fri Jul 20, 2018, 02:39 AM
Jul 2018

And I've been to Troutville, Virginia! My grandmother was in an auto accident there, a guy ran a red light and totaled her car. My grandmother was pretty resourceful, she bought another car and continued on her way north. After that, one of us always went with her. My job was to drive south with her and she took me back to the spot.

Response to DFW (Reply #35)

essme

(1,207 posts)
38. We live 2 hours
Fri Jul 20, 2018, 07:06 AM
Jul 2018

From there. It's real. Thank you for sharing about your friend. I have enjoyed your posts tremendously.

DFW

(54,824 posts)
40. Thanks for your kind words
Fri Jul 20, 2018, 07:51 AM
Jul 2018

Your sentiments are not universally shared, so they are encouraging.

DFW

(54,824 posts)
44. Thanks. He was very special
Fri Jul 20, 2018, 02:16 PM
Jul 2018

It's hard to accept that people you have known for a long time are mortal. Fame doesn't shield anyone from mortality, and of the famous people I know/have known, even those who have lived past 90, and stayed active, have had to face the inevitable. We lost Helen Thomas around 5 years ago, Theo Bikel just recently. Stan Lee is still around, though slowing down, and Ruth Westheimer, who just turned 90, is a real life energizer bunny.

Adrian never even made it to 80, and if it weren't for "Good Morning Vietnam," probably no one outside of his VN audience would ever have known his name. But he was a very approachable "famous person," completely NOT full of himself, and just so multi-faceted, any conversation with him left the other person enriched. Adrian's passing leaves the world just a little poorer, even if he was a Republican.

DFW

(54,824 posts)
48. Check my post #35 on this thread
Fri Jul 20, 2018, 03:55 PM
Jul 2018

That should give you sort of an idea about him. In the film "Good Morning Vietnam," Robin Williams was mostly playing himself, not Adrian.

NewJeffCT

(56,830 posts)
49. Williams usually played himself
Fri Jul 20, 2018, 04:04 PM
Jul 2018

in some form or other. But, without Williams' portrayal, I bet many in my age group (early 50s) and younger would not have heard of Cronauer.

Thank you for the story above - he will be missed.

DFW

(54,824 posts)
50. Adrian was happy about the film's success, of course
Fri Jul 20, 2018, 04:24 PM
Jul 2018

But he always made a point to point out to anyone who would listen that what was portrayed in "Good Morning Vietnam" had virtually nothing to do with what really happened. The film was an entertaining story, but that was the extent of it.

TexasBushwhacker

(20,338 posts)
56. The thing that's funny is that I liked Williams in his dramatic roles the most
Fri Jul 20, 2018, 06:36 PM
Jul 2018

Give me Awakenings or Good Will Hunting over Mork and Mindy any day. He was just too manic when he was "one" for me.

Hortensis

(58,785 posts)
52. We know what it is to to know in our bones
Fri Jul 20, 2018, 04:39 PM
Jul 2018

that not just we but the world are diminished with someone's death. Here's a picture from 2014, taken in his home apparently.

Hortensis

(58,785 posts)
61. :) Maybe a semi-annual haircut? My husband
Sat Jul 21, 2018, 09:16 AM
Jul 2018

visits the barber seldom and definitely gets his money's worth, if counted in inches.

Raster

(20,998 posts)
54. Condolences on your loss, DFW...
Fri Jul 20, 2018, 05:36 PM
Jul 2018

...I gotta say, you've known some very interesting people! That indicates a good life being lived.

DFW

(54,824 posts)
58. Thanks for that
Sat Jul 21, 2018, 09:03 AM
Jul 2018

A few paths have crossed with mine over the years, it's true. Lost a few interesting friends along the way, too. And then you always say to yourself, DAMN, how the hell did I never end finding the time to go see him/her one last time?

Docreed2003

(16,951 posts)
55. My sincerest condolences DFW on the loss of your friend
Fri Jul 20, 2018, 05:46 PM
Jul 2018

Thank you for sharing your memories of him above, a touching tribute.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Cronauer several years ago. His dedication to veterans and veterans organizations, particularly those involving Vietnam Vets, cannot be understated.

DFW

(54,824 posts)
57. Adrian had a very close connection to Vietnam Vets for obvious reasons
Sat Jul 21, 2018, 08:56 AM
Jul 2018

It was a dedication he took very seriously, and we had to cut our last lunch in Arlington short so he could get back to work with his MIA job. He retired soon after, and I will always regret never having found the time to accept his invitations to visit him down in Troutville. It always seemed to be such a far detour. Now that it's too late, it seems like such a trivial distance.

 

hexola

(4,835 posts)
60. "Everybody thinks they knew him..." - seems a bit off...
Sat Jul 21, 2018, 09:16 AM
Jul 2018

You have a unique viewpoint.

To see just his name - I have no idea who he is...nothing...

I'm 51 - lived through the era this movie was out.

If I saw it, I don't remember anything about it except Robin Williams.

But the movie did create a record of his importance - that's the important part. The nuances of who he was - not so important.

Whether or not the portrayal rang true would be lost on the millions that would see the movie - since they didn't know him.

DFW

(54,824 posts)
62. I think you refute your own statement--my statement seems spot on to me
Sat Jul 21, 2018, 09:42 AM
Jul 2018

My viewpoint is hardly unique. Adrian gave talks at hundreds of events, both military and non-, and the thousands who heard him and/or met him realized it instantly.

Compare the video of Adrian in post 27 with any clip of Robin Williams in the film. Night and day, and Adrian tried to make that point with anyone who would listen, and plenty of people listened.

The movie created a record of practically nothing. It took the basic story of Adrian's time in Vietnam, and built a complete fantasy around it, which was further enhanced--and distanced from reality--by Williams' performance.

The nuances of who Adrian was, as you put it, were a vital part of his life. He did SO many different things after Nam, and his last posting, actively trying to bring closure to MIA families, even 40 years later, was one that accurately reflected his character, and was one that was at least as appreciated by the people affected as his radio voice was in the sixties. At least one poster on here was aware of that.

I'll agree that "whether or not the portrayal rang true would be lost on the millions that would see the movie," but the movie was not intended to be biographical or some kind of enhanced documentary. Adrian couldn't help that the makers of the film made no effort to explain that it was far from a true depiction. I can understand their point of view. That wouldn't exactly have helped their box office take. But it did give millions the impression that they knew what Adrian was like, where it did no such thing, and that was the point I was trying to make. I think most responders to my post got the point. If I am wrong, I'll be glad to let people post here to say so.

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»I just lost a friend. Eve...