A legend and a story – Robin Williams
It’s truly hard to believe that a legend like Robin Williams has passed. I have so many thoughts and prayers, and memories of seeing his movies for the 1st, 2nd and 19th time each. You just can not pass when a RW movie comes on TBS, you’re hooked (Hook, Jack, Patch Adams, What Dreams May Come, Mrs. Doubtfire, Aladdin, too many great ones to name them all). It’s with a heavy heart that we try to make sense of the things we hear about celebrities after their passing. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that celebrity figures have a life that is separate than the characters they play in films.
Robin Williams was one of those people, whom would instantly make you forget that he was anyone other the character he was playing. That is why so many of us loved his films as much as we did.
I only had the pleasure of spending a few moments with Robin Williams in person, but a few moments was more than enough.
A few years ago I worked in public relations at a gifting suite at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007. I was charged with the task of getting celebrity hand prints stamped on one of our vendors’ bags that would later be auctioned for charity.
Robin’s calm and stoic presence, yet warm eyes and infectious smile was even more captivating in person. He wasn’t the exaggerated character we see in film, he was gentle and giving and warm.
After he joyfully painted his hands in purple and stamped his hand prints on the bag I helped him to the bathroom to wash off the paint. He held them up and made a few understated jokes (joking “freeze, put your hands up!” if you can imagine), we all laughed and you just knew you were in the presence of someone incredible.
Afterwards he walked the entire gifting suite and collected thousands of dollars of clothes, shoes, electronics and luxury items, engaging with each staff and vendor. At the end of the line, he told us to donate ALL of it to charity. After watching people all day long, on all sides of the spectrum on the famous person scale, pick at the free garb like it was a food platter, it was so refreshing to see Robin’s kindness.
I’ll never forget seeing him holding up his purple hands and me trying to stay composed when on the inside I was like “HOLY *%#^ this is Robin Williams!”
I feel honored to have met him for just those brief moments, and he’s touched my life forever through his stories. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who knew him best and will be most affected by his passing and making sense of his struggle. I am grateful to have witnessed his talent and will honor him in keeping his movies alive in my life, and in the future.
What was your favorite Robin Williams movie? How will you remember him?