Genie, You’re Free: Celebrities Remember Robin Williams

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By Angel Lenise August 12, 2014
“Robin was a lightning storm of comic genius and our laughter was the thunder that sustained him. He was a pal and I can’t believe he’s gone.” — Steven Spielberg
“So sad to think about this. Hard to speak. Hard to say. Hard to take. All I can think about is what a joy he was to be with. My heart is broken by this news.” — Danny DeVito
“We have lost one of our most inspired and gifted comic minds, as well as one of this generation’s greatest actors. His performances were unlike anything any of us had ever seen, they came from some spiritual and otherworldly place. He truly was one of the few people who deserved the title of genius. We were friends for 21 years. Our children grew up together, he inspired us to spend our lives in San Francisco and I loved him like a brother. The world was a better place with Robin in it. And his beautiful legacy will live on forever.” — Chris Columbus, director of Mrs. Doubtfire
“He was a performer of limitless versatility, equally adept at comedy and drama, whether scripted or improv. With his incomparable manic style, he could appeal to adult sensibilities in a stand-up comedy routine or elicit giggles from children as the voice of Genie in Aladdin. Outside of his career, he used his considerable talents to raise money for charity. He was not only a talented man, but a true humanitarian. It’s such a tremendous loss.” — Ken Howard, president of SAG-AFTRA
“Over his remarkable career, Robin moved us to tears; sometimes from laughter, sometimes from humanity, sometimes both in the same moment, a feat that few performers have equaled. I will miss Robin deeply but I will never stop treasuring the phenomenal, enduring work he gave to us all. Robin Williams was that rarest of things: a true and forever one of a kind.” — Shawn Levy, director of Night at the Museum
“His kindness and generosity is what I think of. How kind he was to anyone who wanted to connect with him. And he could not help but be funny all the time. He would do something as long as it would keep you laughing. He made many, many film crews laugh out loud before the audiences ever saw it. He made such a big impact on the world. So there is the man, and his talent and I think in his case both were extraordinary.” — Ben Stiller
“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.” — President Barack Obama
“Robin was hands-down a comedy genius and one of the most talented performers I have ever worked with in television or film. To lose him so young at the age of 63 is just a tragedy. I will forever be in awe of his timing, his talent and his pure and golden creativity. He could make everybody happy but himself.” — Gary Marshall
“Besides seeing his brilliant improvisational mind in action every night was the pleasure in just getting to know him and his generosity and spirit...“A comic genius looking after another comic genius.
Robin looked after everyone. If only he would have looked after himself.” — David Steinberg
To cite his role as Bicentennial Man, there must have been a reason that Robin Williams was what he was. From Popeye to Peter Pan. Mrs. Doubtfire to the World’s Greatest Dad. A stand-up comic versatile enough to be taken seriously on the silver screen. An ensemble star, compelling enough to carry the stage in his own one-man show. Monday night, we lost that. When news broke of Williams’ untimely death, celebrities and fans alike tried to process it, as best they could, with heartfelt tributes and nods to the multifaceted performer. Perhaps The Academy said it best: Genie, you’re free.
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