There are a lot of memorable anecdotes about Robin Williams which are often shared as tributes by the people closest to him as well as those who worked with him. The star of unforgettable classics such as Dead Poets Society who managed to make the entire world smile with his unique brand of comedy, Williams was a unique presence within the film industry.
It was recently revealed that one of Williams’ most iconic film performances was set for a sequel but the actor tragically took his own life before he got the chance to reprise that role. The project in question was a follow-up to Mrs. Doubtfire which was all ready to go but after Williams’ suicide, the director Chris Columbus was convinced that nobody could ever play that role again.
Williams was fantastic in Mrs. Doubtfire where he conducted his quite brilliant rendition of an unemployed actor whose world collapses around him when he loses the custody of his children. In order to establish a connection with them once he grew closer, the character cross-dresses as a nanny and applies for a job at his ex-wife’s home.
A major part of Mrs. Doubtfire’s tragicomic magic revolves around the duality of Williams’ character and the love he had for his children despite the prevailing circumstances which prevented him from being with them. That’s also why the validity of a sequel was questioned because it would be embarrassing if his children fell for the crossdressing trick again after they had grown up.
While working on the original film, Williams developed a close bond with many of the cast and crew. One particularly endearing moment came when he even extended his help to get his co-star – a child named Lisa Jakub cast as his daughter in Mrs. Doubtfire – out of trouble as she had missed a lot of school days in order to be present for the production process.
Williams took it upon himself to pen a letter to Jakub’s school headmaster, advocating for Jakub’s intelligence and protesting against the school’s decision to expel her. In his letter, just like in Dead Poets Society, the actor called for a mixture between real-world experiences and academic learning to facilitate the development of school children.
Read the full letter below.