MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The news of Robin Williams’ death quickly sent shock waves through the entire film industry.
Miami-based casting director Ellen Jacoby was struggling to come to terms with the actor’s suicide a day after he was found dead in his California home.
“Truthfully, at first, I thought it was a joke,” Jacoby said.
For many friends and fans of the comedian, his death, at first, seemed like the sick punchline of a twisted hoax.
“When I realized it was real, it was devastating,” Jacoby said.
Jacoby worked with Williams on the films “Old Dogs” and “The Birdcage.”
The latter will forever tie the actor to South Beach and the Carlyle hotel, where some of the movie was filmed.
Jacoby recalls the day she met him on set.
“He walks up to me and he says ‘Hi. I’m Robin Williams.’ Ha! Like I wouldn’t know that. He was just that kind of guy. He was so warm and friendly,” she said.
The star of films like “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Jumanji” was found dead Monday at the age of 63.
Authorities have ruled his death a suicide by hanging.
“I think it was sad. As a child growing up, I watched a lot of his movies and I wouldn’t think that he would commit suicide,” said fan Ronald Williams (no relation).
Visitors along Ocean Drive Tuesday mourned the loss of the “Dead Poets Society” star.
“He’s done a lot for the film industry and we’re sad to see him go,” Moss Kilmi said.
But most will remember Williams’ career initially took off on television, where his role as a curious alien in “Mork and Mindy” made him a household name.
He returned to TV as a regular as the star of CBS’s “The Crazy Ones” last year, but the show was canceled after just one season.
Jacoby said his fame never fazed him.
“A lot of stars act different. But he was just like any other guy on the street who would say hello to you,” she said. “I’ll miss him. I was hoping he’d come back down here again to do another film. I’ll miss him. Everybody will.”
Williams had several movies in post-production. Some are due to come out later this year.
Jacoby believes they will be released as planned as a final tribute to the star.