What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, Robin Williams was getting ready to make his return to TV with the CBS sitcom “The Crazy Ones.” At last September’s Primetime Emmy Awards, he paid tribute to his lifelong mentor, Jonathan Winters. And now, unbelievably, it’s time to pay tribute to him. Williams was found dead on Monday of an apparent suicide, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The comedy legend was 63 year old.
In his In Memoriam segment for Winters last fall, Williams described his former “Mork and Mindy” co-star as “a big, brilliant kid that never grew up and the world was his playground.” He ended by saying, “Thanks for the spark, big guy.” It’s hard to even imagine saying goodbye to Williams less than a year later.
There’s no word yet if this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards will feature a special In Memoriam segment like last year, when Winters, James Gandolfini, Gary David Goldberg, Cory Monteith, and Jean Stapleton were remembered with special tributes delivered by famous friends. But if it does, there’s no shortage of famous friends who would be lining up to pay tribute to Robin Williams.
Henry Winkler, who starred with Williams on the “Happy Days” episode that launched his Mork character, told The Hollywood Reporter of his first experience acting with the comedian: “What ever you said, he inhaled out of the air and then threw it back at you. There was not one time it came out the same. There was not one time it was not truly, endlessly and fervently funny. You saw it and your mouth dropped. You couldn't believe it. I've worked with a lot of people and there is and was no one quite like him."
Sarah Michelle Gellar, who co-starred with William on the short-lived “The Crazy Ones,” told People that Williams was the dad "she always dreamed of having."
"My life is a better place because I knew Robin Williams," Gellar said. “I will miss him every day, but I know the memory of him will live on. And to his family, I thank them for letting us know him and seeing the joy they brought him. Us crazy ones love you."
And then there’s Pam Dawber, his “Mork and Mindy” co-star who reunited with him earlier this year for a cameo on “The Crazy Ones.” In a statement on Williams’ death, Dawber said, “I am completely and totally devastated. What more can be said?”
It’s little consolation, but Entertainment Weekly reports that we’ll still have the opportunity to see the Oscar winning actor again in the future, because Williams left behind four movie roles. This holiday season, fans can see him once again as Teddy Roosevelt in “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.” He also appears in the indie holiday flick, “Merry Friggin’ Christmas,” due out in November. In addition, Williams filmed scenes for the Dito Montiel drama “Boulevard,” which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year, and the late actor also voiced the animated character of Dennis the Dog in the upcoming live-action comedy “Absolutely Anything,” which will hit theaters next year.
But for now, the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards will broadcast live on Aug. 25 on NBC, nearly a month earlier than usual. It already feels rushed, so let’s hope there’s time to put together a fitting tribute for Robin Williams. Because on the Emmy Awards stage, there will definitely be a lot less spark this year.