I first saw him in 1979, on a show that I watched on the regular. That show was Happy Days. Then shortly after, he had his own show, Mork & Mindy.
I watched every episode with a passion. There was something about this guy that hooked me in.
Then, in August of ’82, my dad took me to see a film called The World According To Garp.
His performance blew me away. He portrayed a passionate, sensitive, family-based humbled writer.
I knew then and there what I wanted to be. I wanted to be Garp.
Like most, I was then officially drawn into this actors range. He could easily become someone else, yet at the same time, brilliantly bringing his own personality into the mix.
There are so few actors that can to this.
I had the honor to meet Robin in late ‘95. I was dating the co-host of a popular show on the Paramount lot. We shook hands and talked briefly. He introduced me to his then-girlfriend Marsha. He was a quiet man that presented himself awkwardly, but was consistently kind.
I had a brief moment in time with this man. I always knew of his battle with depression and substance abuse. This was nothing new, especially working in the industry I chose to work in.
Fast-forward 19 years.
I was on the road most of the day, so when my friend texted me the news, I was shocked, as most of us were. But to be honest, I wasn’t surprised.
Depression can be a sticky wicket.
Genetically, I am prone to depression. I’ve watched family members suffer from it, on one level or another. Personally, I’ve survived a bought of suicidality twice. Once in my teen years, another while going through a painful divorce just 10 years ago. At this point, the details of both circumstances are mute. What matters is I know the depths of how far the human soul can go to.
We can create a hole shallow enough to allow ourselves to be saved from, or we allow this hole to consume us as completely. At some point, you walk a fine line.
Mr. Williams, I’ve walked this line a couple of times. I’m so sorry you chose the other side. You will be missed. You have influenced my career tremendously, and I’m thankful for that short moment we met. I hope you now walk in peace.
Namaste, my friend.
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