Robin Williams Loved His Family, Praised Costar Sarah Michelle Gellar, Dead Poets Society Director Peter Weir Before His Death
Robin Williams, who died from a suspected suicide on Monday, Aug. 11, loved his family and praised his colleagues -- past and present, like Sarah Michelle Gellar and Dead Poets Society director Peter Weir -- while speaking with Us Weekly at various events in the last year.
At TV Guide Magazine's 60th anniversary party last September, Williams gushed about Gellar, who played his onscreen daughter in the CBS sitcom The Crazy Ones. "She is really a great actress and really funny," the comic told Us. "She has chops."
The best part of working on the show, according to Williams, was "the cast and the writing." He was incredibly happy working alongside The Crazy Ones' core cast, Gellar, James Wolk, Hamish Linklater, and Amanda Setton, as well as guest stars Josh Groban, Ashley Tisdale, and others.
At CBS' Television Critics Association party held in July 2013, Williams called his return to TV after nearly 30 years "amazing." The Mork & Mindy lead added to Us: "I've always been working." He noted, however, that his on-set approach had changed drastically since the '80s TV show. "It was a great ride, but I wasn’t that present," Williams said. "I was on everything but skates. Now to be present and part of the process is wonderful. To have a guy like that writing, people like this to work with, it’s a great ensemble to work with and to see what we can talk about to see how we can push it."
Williams also shared a picture from that event with his new costars, writing: "Thank you, #tcas13! Can't wait to start working with 'The Crazy Ones' again!"
Indeed, Williams frequently posted photos to his Instagram with his beloved costars. The comic shared an image with Linklater and Wolk in August 2013, which he captioned: "Hanging with my boys on set." He added in another cute snap with Wolk: "Bromance in the dugout."
As for former coworkers? "It would just be great to see all the boys again," Williams told Us in April 2014 of reuniting with the cast of his 1989 drama, Dead Poets Society, which included Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles, and more. "And especially to see Peter [Weir], that would be wonderful. It was a great experience and it was one of the most powerful movie experiences I had in those days…. I mean, working with Peter Weir is a joy, just to see him again would be the best part of the reunion and also just to see how everyone's changed - that would be great."
The actor, in the months leading up to his death, worked on the third installment of the Night at the Museum film franchise with Ben Stiller, Mickey Rooney, Dick Van Dyke, and Ricky Gervais. Williams, who played Teddy Roosevelt in the series, expressed his appreciation for his stunt doubles and stand-ins, and shared a photo with both in May. "On the set of NATM3 with my long time stand-in, Sal Biagini and stunt double, Mike Mitchell."
The late actor, more than anything else in the world, cherished his family. In November 2012, the father of three told Us that he was most thankful for "my wife. My family. It's amazing." Williams married his third wife, Susan, in October 2011.
Gellar, 37, also released a statement to Us remembering the late actor. "My life is a better place because I knew Robin Williams," she said of her TV dad. "To my children [Charlotte, 4, and Rocky, 23 months] he was 'Uncle Robin,' to everyone he worked with, he was the best boss anyone had ever known, and to me he was not just an inspiration but he was the Father I had always dreamed of having."
Williams' real life daughter Zelda, who was the subject of his final Instagram post, remembered her dad in a sweet Twitter tribute, which read: "I love you, I miss you. I'll try to keep looking up, Z."