Patch on Robin Williams: 'He was tender'
Robin Williams won kudos for his performance in “Patch Adams,” the story of an idealistic doctor who uses clown humor as part of his treatment.
The real Patch Adams, who has a home in Urbana and is the founder of the Gesundheit Institute, weighed in Monday with staff writer PAUL WOOD. Adams, who is in the Amazon, sent an email tribute to Williams, who also had a quieter, caring side to his personality:
“The terrible news of the passing of Robin Williams reached me here in the Peruvian Amazon late last night with tremendous sadness. Surrounded by over 100 friends and clowns on our annual clown trip here we mourn this tragic loss and continue to treasure his comic genius.
“Robin Williams was a wonderful, kind and generous man. One important thing I remember about his personality is that he was unassuming—he never acted as if he was powerful or famous. Instead, he was always tender, and welcoming, willing to help others with a smile or a joke. Robin was a brilliant comedian — there is no doubt. He was a compassionate, caring human being.
“While watching him work on the set of the film based on my life I saw that whenever there was a stressful moment, Robin would tap into his improvisation style to lighten the mood of cast and crew.
“Contrary to how many people may view him, he actually seemed to me to be an introvert. When he invited me and my family into his home, he valued peace and quiet, a chance to breathe — a chance to get away from the fame that his talent has brought him.
“While early in life he turned to drug use and alcohol to escape, he replaced the addiction with moments of solitude to help cope with the stress that fame brought. This world is not kind to people who become famous, and the fame he had garnered was a nightmare. While saddened, we are left with the consequences of his death.”