Robin Williams, 1951-2014

I was on a film set with Robin Williams once, working as a dance extra on his movie “Bicentennial Man.” It was a disastrous night of shooting. Already behind schedule, the lighting set the sprinkler system off at San Francisco’s City Hall, where we were filming. It flooded the set and delayed us yet hours more. Sometime in the middle of the night Williams tried to boost morale among the hundreds of extras by walking among us, shaking hands, and making wisecracks about the ladies’ wacky sci-fi costumes and hairstyles.

The powerful plays goes on, but without his verses. — CC

7 Comments on "Robin Williams, 1951-2014"

  1. Waldo Walters | August 12, 2014 at 3:10 am |

    I saw him perform live once, at a little comedy club in S.F. He wasn’t on the bill and was just sitting anonymously in the back of the audience til he started heckling the comic onstage in a silly voice. This went on for quite a while til people figured out it wasn’t just some random but hilarious drunk. Then Robin went onstage with the other comic, an old friend, and they did 15-20 minutes of off-the-cuff, dazzling, genius comedy.

    He was a Bay Area hippie all the way but he looked great in prep attire, onscreen and off.

  2. I will never forget this show in 07

  3. G. Bruce Boyer | August 12, 2014 at 12:45 pm |

    A warm, sobering tribute among all the talking head’s babble.

  4. A.E.W. Mason | August 12, 2014 at 2:36 pm |

    Thank you for this post.

    It is a very sad time. I suppose only those who have earnestly attempted suicide (if indeed it was that) know what it is like to feel that the only way out is to end one’s life. Prolonged mental pain, as someone observed, can in some cases be more difficult to bear than physical pain. He must have been in terrible pain.

    He had real genius. I’m inclined to believe he was the nice and generous human being that so many have described. He sure seemed like it to me.

  5. AEWM: I had the surprise pleasure of sitting next to him on a flight from LAX-SFO years ago. Very pleasant, soft spoken and eager to get back home to the Bay Area.

  6. Very interesting, M. Arthur. Please share more if you wish. Must’ve been shocking to see him walk down the aisle and sit next to you, or for you to look for your seat, only to find Robin Williams in the one next to it. How did you break the ice?

  7. Yes, I took the aisle seat and he was against the window. I say against the window because he was looking pretty tired and was gonna snooze. I gave him the same greeting I give any person in a seat next to me. A simple, “How ya doing?”. A few more casual exchanges about the Bay Area and that was the extent of it.

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