Comedy Legend Robin Williams Secretly Aided the Homeless, Ensuring Film Companies Hired Them

By Li Yen, Epoch Times
April 9, 2019 Updated: April 15, 2019

From playing the faux female housekeeper in the family comedy Mrs. Doubtfire to the funny DJ Adrian Cronauer in comedy-drama war film Good Morning, Vietnam, Academy Award winner Robin Williams delighted audiences for decades with his brilliant comic acting.

Tragically, on Aug. 11, 2014, the Mrs. Doubtfire star was found dead at his home in California in an apparent suicide at the age of 63.

©Getty Images | Vince Bucci

Without a shadow of a doubt, nobody made the world laugh like Robin Williams. Unsurprisingly, his death triggered a global outpouring of grief. Many of his fans and co-stars took to social media to share their personal encounters with the legendary comedian-actor.

In a blog post written by Brian Lord, president of the Premiere Speakers Bureau, he got to know “a little-known Robin Williams story” while trying to book the entertainer for an event.

“Years ago I learned a very cool thing about Robin Williams, and I couldn’t watch a movie of his afterward without thinking of it,” Lord wrote.

“I never actually booked Robin Williams for an event, but I came close enough that his office sent over his rider,” he continued. “You can learn a lot about a person from their rider.”

©Getty Images | Michael Caulfield

Rather than requesting extravagant demands, the beloved comic genius stipulated a unique condition in his rider’s requirement list.

“When I got Robin Williams’ rider, I was very surprised by what I found,” Lord wrote. “He actually had a requirement that, for every single event or film he did, the company hiring him also had to hire a certain number of homeless people and put them to work.”

Actor/comedian Robin Williams entertains the troops during the United Service Organizations (USO) tour at Baghdad International Airport. (©Getty Image)

Knowing what the famous comic-actor did to give the needy a chance to earn an income, Lord “never watched a Robin Williams movie the same way after that.”

“I’m sure that on his own time and with his own money, he was working with these people in need, but he’d also decided to use his clout as an entertainer to make sure that production companies and event planners also learned the value of giving people a chance to work their way back,” Lord wrote.

He concluded: “He was a great multiplier of his impact.  Let’s hope that impact lives on without him. Thanks, Robin Williams—not just for laughs, but also for a cool example.”

As a matter of fact, Williams, along with Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal, established Comic Relief USA in 1986, a non-profit that uses “the power of entertainment to drive positive change to help those who need it most.”

By 2014, the comedians helped raised over $80 million for Comic Relief, benefiting the homeless people in America.

In support of the Homelessness Prevention and Revitalization Act, Williams had also testified before Congress in 1990 in a serious speech.

“You can’t keep picking people up, you have to stop them from falling. That’s what I hope,” he said to Congress. “I thank all of you in a bipartisan way. I know it’s a little scary when you have a comic in front of you—it’s like having a porcupine in a hemophiliac ward—but I present this with my simple soul that you do continue this in a bipartisan way.”

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Perhaps Williams’s empathy toward the homeless was due to his role as a delusional homeless man in the film The Fisher King.

Unquestionably, the world has lost one of the world’s greatest comedy actors of all time, and a beautiful gentleman.

Are you touched by what the iconic comedian Robin Williams stipulated in his rider’s requirement list, and his charitable work to help the homeless?