Things We Learned About Robin Williams In 2021 That Made Us Miss Him Even More

List Rules
Vote up the facts and stories about Robin Williams that make you miss him even more.

Robin Williams was a powerhouse comedian from the 1970s all the way through to 2015 when he passed. He brought joy to those who watched his shows and movies, as well as the fans and co-workers he met in person. From his roles in Jumanji, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Aladdin, to the roles he wished he had, there's still a lot we didn't know about him. And everything we've found out this year has made us miss him that much more.

Vote up the facts and stories we found in 2021 that give you more insight into Robin Williams, and make you wish he was still around.

  • 1
    263 VOTES

    He Entertained Sick Children While Filming 'Patch Adams'

    Cameron Brooke Stanley was 7 years old and fighting cancer when she met Robin Williams on the set of Patch Adams in 1998. Stanley remembered Williams being just like the kind doctor he portrayed in the movie, spending time with her and the other children on set who were sick: 

    He was such a real person so when, even off the set when we weren't filming, he was just trying to hang out with the kids and trying to make us forget that we were sick... Not just when the cameras are on, when they're off, he just wants to be someone's friend, like a best friend. He wants to make someone laugh that's sad. He was just so wonderful.

    263 votes
  • 2
    262 VOTES

    While Steven Spielberg Was Filming 'Schindler's List,' Williams Called Him Once A Week To Cheer Him Up

    The 1993 film Schindler's List is a heartbreaking movie about a monstrous era in world history, and the production took an emotional toll on director Steven Spielberg. In 2018, the director revealed he and Williams had a weekly phone call that helped him relax:

    Robin knew what I was going through, and once a week, Robin would call me on schedule and he would do 15 minutes of stand-up on the phone. I would laugh hysterically, because I had to release so much.

    262 votes
  • 3
    278 VOTES

    He Wrote A Letter To Lisa Jakub's High School, Encouraging Officials To Let The 'Mrs. Doubtfire' Child Actor Return

    When 14-year-old Lisa Jakub filmed Mrs. Doubtfire with Williams in the 1990s, she continued her high school work via correspondence, just like many other child actors did at the time. Although she kept up with her studies, the school decided to not let her return because her situation created extra work for teachers.

    Jakub wrote in a blog post how Williams stuck up for her, writing a letter to the school on her behalf:

    When I arrived at work the next day, Robin noticed that I was upset and asked me what was wrong. I explained what had happened, and shortly after that, he handed me a letter that he had written to my school. He explained that I was just trying to continue my education while pursuing my career. He wrote embarrassingly kind things about my character and my work, and requested that they reconsider and allow me to return to my classes.

    When I told him I still didn't think they would take me back, he said, "It's kinda like Amnesty International. That school just needs to know that people know the truth." The school framed the letter. They hung it in the principal's office. But they didn't invite me to return to school. But here's what matters from that story. Robin stood up for me. He was in my corner. I was only 14, but I had already seen that I was in an industry that was full of back-stabbing. And it was entirely clear that Robin had my back.

    278 votes
  • 4
    165 VOTES

    In 'The Birdcage' Kitchen Scene, He Actually Fell By Accident

    The characters' hysteria in The Birdcage "F*ck the shrimp!" scene ended up being hilarious to viewers, but the part where Williams's character slips and falls down wasn't actually in the script. Although the actors don't break character, a closer watch reveals Hank Azaria laughing and Williams's voice cracking during a subsequent line.

    As Azaria told The A.V. Club:

    It’s one of those things that happens that you never really think they’re going to use, but I was so emotionally upset in the scene - I was supposed to be crying - that I just pretended that he was making me cry even more. But I was actually laughing.

    165 votes
  • Mara Wilson Said He Really Knew How To Communicate With Children
    Photo: Mrs. Doubtfire / 20th Century Fox
    232 VOTES

    Mara Wilson Said He Really Knew How To Communicate With Children

    Mara Wilson filmed the hit movie Mrs. Doubtfire with Williams at the tender age of 5. After his passing, she paid tribute to the actor with a blog post remembering the delight Williams took in entertaining herself and the other children on set: 

    Robin would do anything to make me and the other kids laugh. He seemed to know instinctively what we would find funny... [but] my strongest impression came when we saw each other for the first time that day.

    Robin [came] to me from across the room, got down to my level, and whispered, "Hi, how are you?" He asked how my family was doing, how school was, never raising his voice, and only sometimes making eye contact. He seemed so vulnerable. "So this is what Mom meant," I thought. It was as if I was seeing him for the first time. He was a person now.

    232 votes
  • Matt Damon Believes He Owes 'Everything' To Williams
    Photo: Good Will Hunting / Miramax Films
    209 VOTES

    Matt Damon Believes He Owes 'Everything' To Williams

    Good Will Hunting made stars out of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who also wrote the screenplay, but according to Damon, that was largely thanks to Williams, who also starred in the movie and won an Oscar for best supporting actor: 

    Ben and I owe everything to him. He said yes to our movie and he got it made. I could never thank him enough. I look around at the life I have and how blessed I feel and so much of it started with him.

    Damon remembered Williams as a positive force in the world:

    He was amazingly generous with that time he gave to help other people... [I]f you walked down the street and if somebody stopped him he would talk to that person; he engaged with every single person and he understood at some level the impact that he had on people. He could see people light up when they saw him. I think that is what I carry with me... the joy he brought in my life.

    209 votes