An icon has died and while I am not one to typically mourn the loss of celebrities I’ve never met, I was extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Robin Williams. As a kid and throughout my adulthood, I have believed there are only two comedic geniuses of my lifetime: Mel Brooks and Robin Williams and I knew that if I anything should ever happen to either of them, the world would suffer a great, great loss. As Mel Brooks is nearly 90, I had come to terms with the fact he may not be around for ever, but at only 63-years-old, I thought I had a lot more time with Robin Williams and his death was no doubt a terrible surprise. I could not help but feel compelled to write about and pay some kind of tribute to the amazing talented and unique, actor, comedian, father, husband and dog lover, who I just found out lived less than a mile from my own home in Tiburon, Calif.
Death is nature’s way of saying, “Your table’s ready.”- Robin Williams
Death is always sad no matter who it is, but as a kid Robin Williams was the voice of my childhood, looking back on it, nearly every other movie I saw (and all the ones I watched again and again) as a kid in the 90’s involved him or his voice. I can not even begin to count the number of times I have seen Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, FernGully and Hook and there is no point in counting, because I will continue to watch all of his movies again and again for years to come.
“Do you think God gets stoned? I think so… look at the platypus.” – Robin Williams
I remember when I first became “aware” of Robin Williams, you know as a kid you don’t pay much attention to the voices behind the dancing cartoons, but as a 7-year-old kid, I knew I had just seen something uniquely special when I watch Aladdin. I remember looking at my dad who shares (and let’s be honest- instilled) my sense of appreciation for weird and twisted humor, in the theater as we both acknowledged the amazing and hilarity that was unfolding from a blue cartoon. The speed at which he talked, the multitude of voices, the singing, the non-stop jokes both subtle and over-the-top was like nothing I had ever experienced. I have never thought that Robin Williams was the reason for my wanting to sing and act, I started that long-before Aladdin, but looking back now, I can’t help but realize that he really was one of the main influences of my young artistic life and for anyone who grew up during Aladdin and his other films, really part of our lives all together. The Genie taught me that it was okay to sing duets and songs with 5 parts, by yourself and if you could do different voices for each of them – all the better.
And some people say Jesus wasn’t Jewish. Of COURSE he was Jewish! 30 years old, single, lives with his parents, come on! He works in his father’s business, his mom thought he was God’s gift, he’s Jewish! Give it up!- Robin Williams
Since Aladdin I have continued to be a fan throughout the years, watching many of his movies, the good and the bad. I even loved his most recent show the Crazy Ones. Growing up in Marin, my husband Sam, who also shares my love for his work, had the chance to meet him a couple of times, something I will forever be jealous of. After we heard the sad news, we spent the evening watching Hook, listening to his stand-up and singing along to the Aladdin Soundtrack while I attempted to honor him with a little bit of the creativity, playfulness and life he brought to my life.
It’s not the only thing he did, but it’s how I’ll forever remember him.
He will be greatly missed and forever celebrated.