Robin Williams Honored At 66th Annual Emmy Awards; Billy Crystal Gives Moving Tribute
The "In Memoriam" segment at the 66th Annual Emmy Awards, which featured Paul Walker, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Lauren Bacall, was punctuated by a tribute to the recently passed Robin Williams.
Robin Williams Remembered At Emmys
After singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles culminated a rendition of “Smile” and the slideshow of the legendary Hollywood actors, producers, writers and directors who passed away this year wrapped up, Billy Crystal took to the stage to deliver a touching tribute to Williams, his longtime friend and comic inspiration.
"I spent many happy hours with Robin onstage," said Crystal. "The brilliance was astounding. The relentless energy was thrilling. I used to think that if I could just put a saddle on him and stay on for eight seconds, I was going to do okay."
"As genius as he was on stage, he was the greatest friend you could ever imagine," Crystal continued. "Supportive. Protective. Loving. It's very hard to talk about him in the past because he was so present in all of our lives…For almost 40 years, he was the brightest star in the comedy galaxy…[His] beautiful light will continue to shine on us forever. And the glow will be so bright, it'll warm your heart. It'll make your eyes glisten. And you'll think to yourselves: Robin Williams. What a concept."
Following Crystal’s short but sweet remembrance, which included an anecdote about Williams making Russian jokes at a baseball game, clips from Williams’s best standup moments were presented. The Mork & Mindy actor was shown during his first appearance on the Tonight Show in 1981 and delivering his most memorable bits. After the reel finished, a moment of silence commenced in the darkened Nokia Theater.
Capable of delivering in comedy as well as in more poignant performances, Williams is best known for his roles in Good Will Hunting, Mrs. Doubtfire, Dead Poets Society, Good Morning Vietnam and voicing the Genie in Aladdin. He was found dead of an apparent suicide on Aug. 11 following a long battle with depression.