Robin Williams' surviving daughter Zelda celebrated her 25th birthday alongside her father just a week before he was found dead
Robin Williams' surviving daughter Zelda celebrated her 25th birthday alongside her father just a week before he was found dead

Robin Williams: 11 things you might not know

HE may have been one of Hollywood's most famous faces (and voices) but, upon his sad passing, there are still reams of little-known trivia about Robin Williams.

1. Williams was a fan of rugby union and formed a friendship with former winger Jonah Lomu, who left a tribute to the actor on Twitter and on his website.

"My friend, it's sad to hear of your passing, it was an honour and privilege to have known you and we sure had a lot of laughs together,'' Lomu wrote

"I still remember the first time we met, it feels like yesterday but we have both grown up a little more since then, our times together were always full of laughs, you were a great person.

"Our first time in becoming great friends was when you had just finished filming Jumangi, I thought you had signed me a copy of the book Jumangi but when I opened it up it was the script of your entire movie, I will always treasure that my friend and will show it to my boys too.

"Another great memory for me was when we met in San Francisco, a catch up that was meant to be 30 minutes but we ended up laughing and talking for over 2 hours.

"You then surprised me in London when you were part of my tv show "This is your life" both in the UK and in New Zealand with another great friend of mine, Sir Paul Holmes, we had a lot of great times together so I thank you for each of them, thanks for all the great memories my friend.

"I liked the "what you see is what you get" about you, you made me laugh even when you weren't even trying too, you were a warm, caring man and funny as hell!

"Our thoughts are with your family and friends at this sad time and there is a world of us that will miss you my friend, you have left a presence of laughter and happiness upon the lives of many. Till we meet again for more laughs, your friends Jonah and Nadene Lomu."

2. During filming for Schindler's List, Steven Spielberg used to call Robin Williams and put him on speakerphone so he could tell jokes to the crew to cheer them up.

3. The opening scene of Aladdin was almost completely ad-libbed. Directors blindfolded Williams in front of a table of different items and asked him to describe them in the character of the street merchant.

4. When auditioning for the role of Mork on Happy Days, Williams reportedly sat on his head in the interview when asked to sit down. The producers subsequently hired him because "he was the only alien who auditioned".

5. When graduating from high school, classmates voted Williams the least likely to succeed.

6. Robin Williams performed the Blame Canada song at the Oscars in 2000 - the original voice actress Mary Kay Bergman had sadly committed suicide a few months before.

7. After Superman actor Christopher Reeve was paralysed in a horse-riding accident, Williams visited him in hospital - dressed up head-to-toe in doctor's scrubs while gesticulating in a Russian accent.

When he eventually pulled off his mask, Reeve said it was the first time he had laughed since the accident.

8. Williams used to work as a street mime in the 1970s when he was cutting his teeth as an actor.

9. Williams was ad-libbing the 'Idisyncracies' scene in Good Will Hunting where Dr Sean Maguire talks about his wife's farting habit.

If you look closely at around the one minute mark the camera starts shaking - apparently because the cameraman was laughing so hard.

10. In fact, Williams was so adept at ad-libbing that when doing the voice over for the Genie in Aladdin, producers ended up with over 16 hours of recordings.

11. Williams donated his time to charities including Comic Relief, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and the St Jude Children's Hospital among others.

"There were so many ways and so many things he did for so many people," DreamsWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg told the Los Angeles Times.

"He really had just a giant heart and that's what makes me so sad."



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