Backstage before a benefit appearance for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in LA, Robin Williams broke out in a sweat and paced nervously back and forth waiting to go on.
“He was serious about the charity. He had been working on this performance for months,” actress and St. Jude National Outreach Director Marlo Thomas recalls to Closer. She was surprised that the veteran comedian got butterflies before a show. “But he was great!” she reveals. “He knocked it out of the ballpark.”
As a performer, Robin had been hitting home runs since his earliest days in stand-up and as the star of the 1978–1982 TV smash Mork & Mindy. But while friends, fans and costars have told many stories of the Oscar winner’s wit, comic genius and kindness in the nearly two years since his death at age 63, there were other sides to Robin that only the people in his closest circle ever saw.
Robin in 2012. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Away from the spotlight, Robin was a gentle man who was inclined to moments of darkness as well as ones filled with light and laughter. Closer spoke with these insiders, who helped paint a more complete portrait of Robin as a father, husband and one-of-a-kind performer.
“It’s like he lived three lives,” says a family friend. “One at work, where he was not a happy guy for years, although he always played happy people. Then he was a father — not a normal dad, but one that was so creative and almost childlike himself that his three children never felt anything but loved. And then he had his women. They were part of his separate, secret life.”
To read the full story on Robin, pick up the new issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!