As Hollywood continues to mourn the loss of Oscar winner Robin Williams, a remarkable story about the power of friendship has emerged amid the darkness.
Although tributes from former co-stars and admirers continue to pour in for the 63-year-old, one of the best was already written long before the actor took his own life on Aug. 11.
Fellow thespian, Christopher Reeve, who first met the comedian while they were both students at Julliard in New York City, was one of the actor’s closest friends.
After Christopher’s horrific 1995 horse-riding accident, he fondly remembered an unexpected visit from Robin that greatly lifted his spirits.
In his 1996 autobiography Still Me, the Superman star wrote, “I lay on my back, frozen, unable to avoid thinking the darkest thoughts.”
Christopher, whose accident left him a quadriplegic, continued, “Then, at an especially bleak moment, the door flew open and in hurried a squat fellow with a blue scrub hat and a yellow surgical gown and glasses, speaking in a Russian accent. He announced that he was my proctologist and that he had to examine me immediately.
“For the first time since the accident, I laughed,” Christopher, who died in 2004, recalled. “My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay.”
After rooming together in college, the pair stayed in touch as both their careers took off in the late ’70s — Robin’s with Mork & Mindy and Christopher’s with Superman. During a Reddit AMA last year, Robin recalled his favorite memories of the former action hero.
“Him being such a great friend to me at Julliard, literally feeding me because I don’t think I literally had money for food or my student loan hadn’t come in yet, and he would share his food with me,” he wrote at the time, adding, “And then later after the accident, just seeing him beaming and just seeing what he meant to so many people.”
Dana Reeve, Christopher’s widow, had previously referred to the duo as “closer than brothers.” His three children made the following statement after learning of Robin’s passing:
“The Reeve family, like many, will remember Robin for the humor, energy and brightness he brought into our lives through the screen. We will cherish him, though, for the quiet and unwavering support he showed our family through the hardest times. The world knew Robin as a comedic titan, but to our family, he was simply one of our Dad’s dearest friends…Robin’s unparalleled legacy on screen will last through the ages. But beyond the gift of laughter, he gave our family and the Reeve Foundation the gift of his simple, steadfast friendship. It’s a gift we’ll treasure forever.”