The saddest news swept the world yesterday. Robin Williams – the Genie, the Timekeeper, Peter Pan, Professor Brainnerd, Popeye, Mork- lost his battle with depression. He was not only a husband, father, comedian, & actor – he was a Disney Legend. He could make you laugh. He could make you cry. His smile was always comforting, especially in his more dramatic roles. In almost every role he played, I always felt that Robin Williams was sincere about his character. “Aladdin” was the first Disney movie I watched as a mom. It was the first time I caught the jokes & fell in love with Genie. My favorite quote – “10,000 years can give you such a crick in the neck”.
Robin Williams also had a park presence. As a Lost Boy, he co-hosted(with Walter Cronkite) the “Back to Never Land” attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios(back then known as MGM Studios) & Disney’s California Adventure. He was the Timekeeper at Magic Kingdom in WDW, Disneyland Paris & Tokyo Disneyland. I did find a copy of this video online (it is not mine).
My favorite memories will always be of Adrian Cronauer belting out “Gooood Morning, Vietnam!”, Mork greeting people with “Nanu Nanu” or the forever fun term “Shazbot”. But, while my husband & I recalled fun & favorite moments last night, I realized it wasn’t just our generation this affected. My adult children, as they found out, called me with their sadness over the news as well. It was even more heartbreaking to know that they too were so touched by this man & the characters he portrayed in their lifetime (Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, Night at the Museum). I believe the statement issued by President Obama is one of the best tributes there is…
“Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.” – President Obama
A man who brought so much laughter & love to SO many people, was sad. Please, if you need help, know you are not alone. Please reach out for help(or if you know someone who may need help) – The National Suicide Prevention Hotline or List of Worldwide Suicide Crisis Lines.
The staff from the Disney Driven Life offers their condolences, thoughts & prayers to his family during this difficult time.
Please share your favorite Robin Williams memories in the comments below – they do not have to be Disney related. And remember to be good to everyone – you never know what battles people are facing.