Globe columnist Peter Grant says why Robin Williams made such an impression on him

Robin Williams

Robin Williams

First published in News
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Another light has gone out in the world.

The death of Robin Williams has left many lost for words - something the legendary comic actor never was.

I read the news today and ,oh boy, couldn't believe it - still can't.

Robin Williams made everyone feel like a friend.

Those who saw him perform - whether in a small club or a giant arena - will vouch for the fact he was somebody impossible to dislike as his imagination took millions with him on journeys of pure escapism.

The most quick-witted man I have ever met.

I was lucky to meet him and talk to him. At the launch of Good Morning, Vietnam , Robin had flown over to promote it and at the BAFTA theatre in London, he held court.

it was supposed to be a press conference.

But no, this turned out to be a show - and one I will never forget.

I asked him how much of the script was improvised as he was the best impro man in Hollywood.

From the stage he answered me by replicating my voice.

It was ME - Liverpool accent and all down to my nasal twang.

"Hey, we've got a Beatle in the audience," he said back in his own voice.

The crowd applauded. he made me feel special.

At the end of the conference he stood at the door shaking hands with journalists and illustrated what a star he really was.

I said :"Thanks for the compliment, la."

"Ok la, " he said, as if he had known me all his life.

Then - in the voice of maverick disc jockey Adrian Cronauer he played in the movie - he hollered: "Good Morning, Liverpool!"

It was a magic moment from someone who had an aura of almost child-like glee about him - yet little did we know he was battling many demons...even back then.

Years later I was in Universal Studios in California looking in the movie memorabilia museum and in a glass case I saw the book he used in the film Dead Poets Society - another cinematic masterpiece.

I have the videos now to look back on the work of this much-missed actor, comedian and all-round good guy.

The film world won't be the same without Robin Williams.

And life itself has lost one of the sparks that fired us up with laughter. Someone with the gift to make us feel better.

What a pity he could never make himself happy.

Goodbye, la.

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