Adrian Cronauer, who served as inspiration for Robin Williams’ breakout character in the 1987 film Good Morning, Vietnam, has died in Virginia aged 79.
Like his eponymous character, Cronauer was a radio presenter in Saigon in 1965 and 1966 known best for his enthusiastic early morning greeting and penchant for playing rock’n’roll tunes to raise American troops’ morale during the Vietnam War.
But Hollywood took a lot of liberties in its depiction of the air force sergeant.
Cronauer was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in September 1938, to a steelworker father and teacher mother.
A keen broadcast fan throughout his life, he landed a semi-regular slot on local children’s television aged just 12.
After enrolling in his home city’s university in the 1950s, he helped found a student radio station and worked with local broadcasters throughout his studies in Pittsburgh and later in Washington.
‘Goooood morning Vietnam!’
Cronauer joined the US air force, doing his training in San Antonio and Wichita Falls, Texas. His first deployment was to the…