MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Comedian Robin Williams will always be linked to South Florida because of his performance as the owner of a South Beach nightclub in the 1996 comedy hit, The Birdcage.
An artist’s rendering of the beloved comedian hangs in the window of The Carlyle Hotel where some of the movie’s scenes were filmed. During an interview with CBS in 1996 promoting the movie, Williams spoke about his character’s hair and makeup for an interview with CBS.
INTERVIEWER: “Have you ever been that coiffed before for a movie?”
WILLIAMS: “Never. I’ve never worn that much mousse. It’s frightening to wear that much mousse and not be in Alaska.”
On Monday night news of Williams’ death played on television screens at The Carlyle while people on South Beach remembered the man who made them laugh ever since he burst on the scene in the late 1970’s as everyone’s favorite alien, Mork.
“I just loved the way he had all those voices (on) “Mork and Mindy”, all those years ago,” said Robert Corso. “I used to watch him as a kid. Thought it was great.”
Others remembered Williams ability to fully inhabit each character he played.
“I think he was an amazing individual,” said Danny Meeker. “He brought a life to everything that he did. He was true to who he was and I’m sad about what happened.”
At The Palace nightclub on South Beach, performer Missy Meyakie Lapaige says she idolized Williams in The Birdcage.
“He was an inspiration to me,” she said. “He was such a joy in the movie that you never think somebody like that would take their life.”
In the end, his fans say they will miss Robin Williams’ spontaneity, improvisation and razor sharp wit. They only wish he could have gotten the help he needed.
“It’s just sad,” Corso said. “Somebody should have been able to connect with him to fill that void and help out in some way. So, if anybody out there needs help, ask for it.”
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