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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin Williams: Heart more than head

(Williams at 2007 USO show)
Although few can deny Robin Williams’ comedic and dramatic genius, it seems that his heart was even more fully developed than his head.

Shortly after his death, accolades to that effect began pouring in.  President Obama stated, “…he was one of a kind.  He arrived in our lives as an alien [Mork] – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.”  Comedian Steve Martin tweeted that Williams was a “mensch” and a “genuine soul.”  His wife, Susan Schneider lamented, “I lost my… best friend.”

Wikipedia reports on his generous contributions to worthy causes. Williams and his former wife, Marcia Garces, founded “a philanthropic organization to raise money for many charities.”  Along with Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal, Williams also hosted fundraising efforts called Comic Relief.  He performed for U. S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, and donated generously to the Red Cross.

On a highly personal level, he was a huge support to his close friend Christopher Reeves.  Reeves and
Williams met while attending Juilliard, and began a lifelong friendship at that time.  After Reeves became a quadriplegic, it was Williams who first bolstered his spirits by pretending to be an eccentric Russian doctor about to perform a colostomy.

Was Williams religious?  The jury’s still out on that one.  Raised an Episcopalian (although his mother was a Christian Scientist), he jokingly described his denomination as “Catholic Lite – same rituals, half the guilt.”  

Christianity has been called a relationship rather than a religion.  What we do know is that Williams’ heart was very often in all the right(eous) places.


Copyright August 12, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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