Comedians, Actors, Directors & More Pay Tribute to Robin Williams
by Ethan Anderton
August 12, 2014
The abundance of love, admiration and fond memories surrounding recently passed comedian and actor Robin Williams has brought an onslaught of emotions from laughter to tears. This was a man who loved comedy, but wasn't afraid to get dramatic. And while he brought joy to millions, director Garry Marshall accurately pinpointed his battle with depression and how he came to give in to the darkness, "He could make everybody happy but himself." But we don't come to bury Robin Williams, we come to celebrate him by calling attention to several of the touching tributes, words and recollections of how he impacted so many lives. And we've also included some of his finest moment from interviews to speeches and stand-up. Look!
Last night Conan O'Brien was made aware of the news while taping his show, and this happened:
Steven Spielberg, who directed Williams in the Peter Pan sequel Hook told EW:
“Robin was a lightning storm of comic genius and our laughter was the thunder that sustained him. He was a pal and I can’t believe he’s gone.”
Beyond their professional relationship, it has been said that when Spielberg was feeling dark and down during production of Schindler's List, Williams would cheer him up with a phone call full of jokes and laughter. One can only imagine how uplifting of an experience it must be to have Robin Williams call just to brighten your day. Even Koko the Gorilla got to share some fun with the master comedian, clearly in wonder of this majestic creature:
Here are several updates from Twitter that caught my eye, with millions more out there:
— Billy Crystal (@BillyCrystal) August 12, 2014
BillyCrystal is right…There are No words
— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) August 12, 2014
Remember seeing Robin Williams backstage at 2010 Oscars, chest-bumping host Alec Baldwin & declaring: "Whoa…! That's a lotta man-titties!"
— Anthony Breznican (@Breznican) August 12, 2014
Courtesy of Reddit, a random act of kindness from Robin Williams to a family in need. Grab a Kleenex. http://t.co/phSFhgH9Hr
— Russell Hainline (@RussellHFilm) August 12, 2014
I'll really miss Robin Williams. But neither I nor anyone else in the room that day will ever forget this: http://t.co/iAYLzKCzWj RIP
— Chris Anderson (@TEDchris) August 12, 2014
We mourn the loss of our friend Robin Williams, who always made us laugh and smile. pic.twitter.com/UOY8LTjVRA
— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) August 11, 2014
I cannot believe Robin Williams is gone; he was both a very famous & yet still underrated actor; whether Mork or Garp, a real comedy genius.
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) August 11, 2014
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) August 11, 2014
I think of meeting Robin Williams at least once every week. Today is the only time it made me sad. RIP. You made the world better.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) August 12, 2014
Genie. You're free. pic.twitter.com/FWQWPDPP42
— Evan Rachel Wood (@evanrachelwood) August 11, 2014
— The Comedy Store (@TheComedyStore) August 11, 2014
Iconic comedy clubs also paid their respects with The Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood changing their marquee to read "“RIP Robin Williams.” The Improv followed suit with a marquee that read, "“Robin Williams 1951-2014 Legend," and The Laugh Factory also chimed in with "Robin Williams Rest in Peace. Make God Laugh.”
And then there's this incredible story that Norm MacDonald shared on Twitter:
Mrs. Doubtfire director Chris Columbus made a statement about the passing of Williams:
“To watch Robin work, was a magical and special privilege. His performances were unlike anything any of us had ever seen, they came from some spiritual and otherworldly place. He truly was one of the few people who deserved the title of ‘genius.' We were friends for 21 years. Our children grew up together, he inspired us to spend our lives in San Francisco and I loved him like a brother. The world was a better place with Robin in it. And his beautiful legacy will live on forever.”
Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy, one of the last to work with Wiliams offered this:
“Onscreen and off, this was a formidable, incredible guy — generous in the best way: with his heart and humor, devoted to making others happy. Over his remarkable career, Robin moved us to tears; sometimes from laughter, sometimes from humanity, sometimes both in the same moment, a feat that few performers have equaled.I will miss Robin deeply but I will never stop treasuring the phenomenal, enduring work he gave to us all. Robin Williams was that rarest of things: a true and forever one-of-a-kind.”
And if you need a reminder of just how special Williams was, you should probably watch these clips:
This discussion about comedy and addiction, which is moving and frustrating:
This acceptance speech for the 2012 Comedy Icon Award on Comedy Central:
His speech after winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Good Will Hunting:
And his acceptance speech for getting the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005:
This one-hour interview with Charlie Rose from back in 2002:
And take the time to listen to this very personal conversation with comedian Marc Maron in 2010:
And just keep the laughter going with his 1978 stand-up special Live at the Roxy:
Or this one from six later on HBO in 1982 called An Evening with Robin Williams:
And this more recent special from HBO, Weapons of Self-Destruction from 2009:
And this barely grazes the surface of the greatness that came from Robin Williams. You will be missed.
Reader Feedback - 6 Comments
Nicely done Ethan. Its been a long time since somebody's passing has brought such universal adulation and genuine sadness. What an incredible man.
T. Hakeem on Aug 12, 2014
To watch the first interview and hear him say "...the metaphors are you killed, or you died". Insane.
T. Hakeem on Aug 12, 2014
SO lovely to see of the love for Robin.
DAVIDPD on Aug 12, 2014
So heartbreaking. So much love for this kind, gentle spirit. God bless him. God bless his family.
Quanah on Aug 12, 2014
As much as he made me laugh in Aladdin and Mrs. Doubtfire, he made me cry in What Dreams May Come and The Night Listener. He also scared the hell out of me in One Hour Photo. Just genius.
Gabriel Carter on Aug 12, 2014
First Harrold then Ric now Ribbon this truly is a sad year, he did make the world a better place
Kris Taylor on Aug 14, 2014
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