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Remembering the Whimsical Charm of Robin Williams

His comedic routines would often pay homage to California cannabis.

by Ben Adams

Two years ago today, the world learned of Robin William's sudden and shocking death.

William's performances in film classics like Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poet's Society and Good Will Hunting are considered legendary. Fans are taking to social media to remember him. Very few weren't affected by his choice to take his own life.

William's daughter Zelda, understandably, is taking a break from social media on one of the toughest days of the year. "For those who always ask why, it’s so people can memorialize Dad on the anniversary of his death however they wish without me having to feel bombarded by it, or pressured by the expectation put on myself or my family to publicly acknowledge or join in doing so, she posted on her Instagram.
 

 

A photo posted by Zelda Williams (@zeldawilliams) on

 

The cast of Hook recently gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the film as well as the anniversary of William's death. The cast members that played the lost boys in 1991 are now in their 30's and 40's.

Another tribute comes from photographer and longtime friend of  Williams Arthur Grace, who has captured many of the comedian's private moments over the years.

He is releasing Robin Williams: A Singular Portrait, 1986-2002 containing 190 intimate photos with the late Williams.

“The entire time Robin and I worked together or knew each other, he never once said to me, ‘That’s enough, stop taking pictures.’ Or ‘No, you can’t shoot this or you can’t shoot that.’ It was amazing,” Grace said. “Nothing was off-limits.” Grace's collection shows Robin Williams in all of his glory, at his prime. Many photos have never been released to the public eye.

Grace's book gives us all a glimpse into William's personal life.

Williams joked about marijuana and often. “In California this summer, all the state parks caught on fire, which is sad, because these parks are full of weed. It's bad news!” he joked.  

“Even the guys fighting the fires are like: hahahahaha, 'Make another rainbow, Tommy!'” Smokey the Bear is saying, 'Even YOU can stop... shit I know this...' And California weed is kickass weed.”

Williams was very much part of the Hollywood comedy circuit, and all the drugs it provides. During the 70's and 80's, he frequently partied hard with the likes of Richard Pryor and others. At the time of his death, no drugs or alcohol played a role.

Williams dropped his cocaine addiction after the sudden death of John Belushi. His jokes on marijuana, however, never really ceased to make it to his repertoire. “Do you think God gets stoned? I think so... look at the platypus,” Williams quipped.

The book is scheduled for release next month and will be published by Counterpoint Press.


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Benjamin Adams is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a slew of publications including CULTURE, Cannabis Now Magazine and The 420 Book and Vice. Follow Ben on Twitter @BenBot11 and Facebook @byBenBot.



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