My Distant Uncle, Robin Williams

As the news flash across the screen of Robin William’s untimely suicide at the age of 63, I can’t help but run the film reel in mind of every Robin movie I’ve ever loved.

He was a man that was always able to bring my family together and make me feel that it was okay to be silly and that when words fail, laughter is always a universal language. It feels as though I’ve lost a family member. Like a distant uncle that you rarely saw, but you could always flash back to every moment you spent together and remember how much joy it brought you.

As I write, I remember one of my most favorite scenes from a movie I watched every day after school during my Junior year of high school, Mrs. Doubtfire (cue the tears).

In Mrs. Doubtfire, there’s a scene where Mrs. Sellner (his case worker) surprises him outside of his apartment. Mrs. Sellner is there to see Daniel, so as a cover Mrs. Doubtfire states that she is his sister. Mrs. Doubtfire tells Mrs. Sellner that Daniel (Robin) is in the shower and that he’ll be right out. If you’ve seen the movie, you know that the next five minutes are pure hilarity.

As they make themselves comfortable inside the apartment, Daniel steps in it big time when he tells Mrs. Sellner that his sister makes a great pot of English tea, causing him to have to transition back into Mrs. Doubtfire. As he’s transitioning, he loses his mask out of an alleyway window and ends up having to dip his face in a cake’s frosting found in the fridge to cover his face. He startles Mrs. Sellner when he jumps from behind the fridge door and exclaims, “Hello!” Mrs. Sellner jumps back and Daniel (Mrs. Doubtfire) explains that it’s a cold cream mask made of cream and sugar. Drops of the “mask” fall into Mrs. Sellner’s coffee and Daniel exclaims, “Oh! One lump or two dear? Would you like a little cream and sugar with your tea, dear?” Finally as he realizes that the melting mask will soon reveal his identity, he quickly exits the kitchen as he shouts out, “I look like a Yeti. I’m melting like a snow cone in Phoenix!”

I’ve found the scene on YouTube, if you’d like to view it, Mrs. Doubtfire Tea Scene.

His mixture of sharp wit and physical comedy coupled with a childlike manner inspired me to be a better person. To be someone who is not afraid to be silly and say whatever is on my mind no matter how random or inappropriate it may be, because humor is essential to the soul.

Robin, I hope that you’re finally at peace. I think I speak for all of your fans when I say that although you struggled with the deepest and darkest parts of you, your inner light always shone through to us. We mourn the loss of a wonderful man but rejoice knowing that your star will shine forever and always in heaven. God Bless.


Robin Williams (1951-2014)