Though it has been 7 years since the tragic passing of Mrs. Doubtfire actor Robin Williams, many of his fellow actors and admirers continue to remember the generosity that seemed to flow from his heart to others. Brian Lord, who works in the entertainment industry, knows of this generous nature all too well.
Lord wanted to book Williams for an event many years ago however, he soon learned something so profound about the actor that whenever he watches a movie featuring him, he can’t help but remember it. Lord originally shared the story on his blog but it has since been shared on various social media platforms. Author Perry Marshall shared Lord’s post on his Facebook as well following the actor’s death.
Upon booking a celebrity for an event, they are usually burdened with a set of conditions which are usually sent beforehand called a “rider.” The list may have both personal and technical requirements.
“You can learn a lot about a person from their rider,” Lord explained. “This is where rock bands list their requirement for green M&Ms (which is actually a surprisingly smart thing to do.) This is also where a famous environmentalist requires a large gas-guzzling private jet to fly to the event city but then requires an electric or hybrid car to take a said environmentalist to the event venue when in view of the public.”
Having heard many outrageous requests, Lord was surprised by what he found in Williams’ rider. “He actually had a requirement that for every single event or film he did, the company hiring him also had to hire a certain number of homeless people and put them to work,” he stated.
“I never watched a Robin Williams movie the same way after that. I’m sure that on his own time and with his own money, he was working with these people in need, but he’d also decided to use his clout as an entertainer to make sure that production companies and event planners also learned the value of giving people a chance to work their way back.”
Williams wanted to make sure he helped provide employment to those who could use it. “I wonder how many production companies continued the practice into their next non-Robin Williams project, as well as how many people got a chance at a job and the pride of earning an income, even temporarily, from his actions,” Lord pondered.
“He was a great multiplier of his impact. Let’s hope that impact lives on without him. Thanks, Robin Williams- not just for laughs, but also for a cool example.”
“There were so many ways and so many things he did for so many people,” Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive told the Los Angeles Times of the late actor, “He really had just a giant heart and that’s what makes me so sad.”
Williams did an extensive amount of work for charities. Beginning in 1986, Williams, alongside actor-comedian fellows Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg, hosted a series of TV specials as part of the nonprofit Comic Relief to raise money for America’s homeless.
Williams was also a big supporter of the Reeves Foundation, which is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury. Williams lived with Christopher Reeve while studying acting at Juilliard in New York.
In October 2013, Williams joined Jennifer Aniston, Sofia Vergara, Shaun White, Michael Strahan, and Luis Fonsi in the 10th annual Thanks and Giving Campaign. Williams also helped with the Livestrong Foundation, the nonprofit formerly run by cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Just when we thought we couldn’t love Williams anymore! Rest in Peace.