Who Was Adrian Cronauer? 'Good Morning, Vietnam' DJ Played by Robin Williams Dies Aged 79

Adrian Joseph Cronauer, the U.S. war veteran portrayed by Robin Williams in the 1987 hit movie Good Morning, Vietnam, died on Wednesday aged 79, an obituary has confirmed.

Cronauer, a former U.S. Air Force sergeant, co-authored the original story for the well-regarded comedy-drama, which was set in 1965 Saigon. It detailed the story of a radio DJ whose antics with news reading, humor and rock and roll angered his military bosses, but was loved by troops.

Cronauer, of Troutville, Virginia, was preceded in death by his wife Jeane Steppe, stepson David Muse and grandson Kevin Muse, the MemorialSolutions.com obituary read (via NBC affiliate Wsls.com.) Over the course of his life, his military achievements were vast.

“Cronauer served as a confidential advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) from 2001 through 2009,” the obituary stated.

“He represented the POW/MIA Office at meetings within the Office of the Secretary of Defense and at various outside functions including liaison with the leadership of veteran’s service organizations as well as family and activist groups," it continued. 

“He had lead responsibility for DPMO’s dealings with international organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Tripartite Commission. 

“For his efforts, he holds the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service.”

Prior to working in law, Cronauer spent seven years in New York City voicing TV and radio commercials. Before that had taught broad­casting at university level, the notice added.

In 2014, Cronauer told the Military Times (via the Sun Herald) about his own experience making the Hollywood movie in the wake of Williams’ passing.

“It was never intended to be a point-by-point accurate biography," he said, adding: "It was intended to be a piece of entertainment and it certainly was that.

“It was nominated for an Academy Award and you don't get much better than that.”

Cronauer’s family has said they will receive friends on July 22 (Sunday) from 1 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at Oakey’s East Chapel, Roanoke.

The obituary noted: “A private interment will be held at a later date with Military Honors. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a veterans organization of your choice.”

Radio and TV producer Jonathan Mayo tweeted his personal condolences on Wednesday.

“Sad to hear that the pioneering DJ Adrian Cronauer died yesterday,” he wrote. “We made a documentary together for BBCRadio2.

Mayo added: “He used to make his famous shouted greeting ‘Good Morning Vietnam!’ last long enough for him to get his script ready and the first record on the turntable.”

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