Adrian Cronauer, the Air Force DJ who broadcasted in Vietnam in 1965 and was the inspiration for the 1988 Robin Williams movie Good Morning, Vietnam, died last week in Troutville, Virginia. He was 79.
Cronauer said he did start his broadcast with his signature, … “Goooooood morning, Vietnam.” He did play popular rock and roll music. And he did teach English to Vietnamese in his off hours as the Williams character did in the movie (though without the profanity). But he said he was not nearly as manic as Williams and not as anti-establishment. In fact, he described himself as a life-time Republican. He said if he “had done half the stuff Robin Williams did in the movie, I would still be in Leavenworth.” He added, “There is a lot of Hollywood exaggeration and outright imagination” in the movie. Unlike Williams in the movie, Cronauer served his entire tour and was later honorably discharged from the Air Force.
After his four-year hitch in the Air Force, Adrian Cronauer earned a master’s degree in communications, did voice-over work for commercials, and promoted a screenplay about a DJ in Vietnam which eventually become the popular Williams movie, though with heavy changes from its Hollywood writer. He used the money he earned from the movie to go to law school. Clearly not a Robin Williams desperado.
RIP Adrian Cronauer.