Articles & Notes — August 12, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Martial artist shares amazing Robin Williams story

robin-williamsThe sudden passing of great Robin Williams came as a shock to many. The preliminary investigation suggests he died of suicide by asphyxiation.

Williams, who had spoken publicly about his bouts with alcohol and cocaine abuse, had recently checked into a rehab to reinforce his sobriety, according to news reports. He also had a heart valve operation in 2009.

Williams was known for roles in such films as Jumanji, Good Morning Vietnam, The Fisher King, Patch Adams, Mrs. Doubtfire, Bicentennial Man and more.

He was nominated for the Academy Award four times and won for his role in “Good Will Hunting” in 1997.

“Winning the Oscar has a short half-life,” Williams told the Marin Independent Journal in a 1999 interview. “At first people say, ‘Oh, you won an Academy Award.’ Then it’s ‘Didn’t you win an Academy Award? Do you know Matt Damon?'”

In addition to winning an Oscar, Williams won or was nominated for numerous awards in the United States and abroad, including the Golden Globe, the Grammy and the Emmy.

The White House released a statement by Barack Obama, who said: “Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.”

Williams had fans all over the world, and even the action stars expressed their condolences regarding Williams’ untimely passing.

Jean-Claude Van Damme was one of them.

“I send my love and condolences to the family of Robin Williams, one of my favorite actors who brought laughter to my life. Coincidentally, I was watching his movie “The Birdcage” at my residence, on Sunday August 11th, in Hong Kong. You will forever be remembered!” Van Damme wrote on Facebook.

Another martial arts star, Darren Shahlavi, went as far as recalling a story of him and Williams on the set of “The Final Cut”.

Below is Shahlavi’s memory of Robin Williams

As an actor it’s an amazing experience to work with one of your heroes and sometimes it can change you. In 2003 I was fortunate enough to be cast in the movie “The Final Cut” starring Robin Williams. It was a rough time for me, I was going through a divorce, I’d only been living in Vancouver a short while and missed my family and friends in England, I hadn’t worked for a long time and was depressed, I just felt like giving up.

The morning when I arrived on set I was quite nervous, this was the first time I was hired to just ACT in a movie and not be punching and kicking people, and I was about to act one on one in a scene with one of my all time favourite entertainers and I didn’t know what to expect.

Robin could sense this and approached me, he took the time to talk with me, ask me questions about my life, my interests, my passions, put me at ease and make me laugh for the first time in a long time.

We spoke a lot about Martial Arts and he expressed how proud he was of his son who had just started training in Karate and very proficient at the BO Staff. We had a great day filming and Robin was so inspiring to watch, telling jokes non-stop and doing impressions and entertaining the whole crew right up until ACTION then he would immediately switch to his character.

I left the set that day with a renewed sense of confidence and belief in myself that I could actually pursue a career as an actor and make my dreams come true, and for that I am eternally grateful……I needed that day.

Everyone of us has their struggles, but like an iceberg we never know how deep they may be, take your time to care, to reach out, even if it is with a complete stranger you never know the difference you might make, Thank you Robin Williams. My sincere condolences to your family and loved ones, God bless you and may you now rest in peace.

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