"I was very surprised by what I found. 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,"
Over 5 years have passed since renowned comedian and actor Robin Williams took his own life at his home in Paradise Cay, California at the age of 63. And even to this today, we find and hear wonderful tales of his humble nature coming to light.
Brian Lord, a longtime fan of the actor published a truly heartwarming story of Williams on his blog. While it's fairly a common sight for actors and celebrities to extend requests and riders before accepting roles and contracts, what Robin Williams had in mind went on to profoundly surprise Lord.
According to him, Williams required the event organizers to employ homeless people and that completely changed Lord's perception of the actor. "I couldn’t watch a movie of his afterward without thinking of it," said Lord.
In case you're still a bit confused as to the notion of a "rider's list", it's basically an actor or celebrity's personal or technical needs and requirements for an event they host or be the chief guest of.
"I was very surprised by what I found. 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," writes Lord. He truly did not expect this coming from a Hollywood superstar of his stature.
DID YOU KNOW THAT ROBIN WILLIAMS HAD A CLAUSE IN ALL OF HIS MOVIE CONTRACTS THAT REQUIRED THE CREW TO HIRE A CERTAIN PERCENT OF HOMELESS WORKERS. He wanted to make sure that his films were giving back to workers in the community who needed the work and I had no idea.— sadie hillier (@sadiehillier) August 3, 2018
robin williams was the nicest, most compassionate celebrity I ever had the pleasure of knowing in person. personally saw him threaten to beat the hell out of some rando harassing a homeless person in the ocean district six or so years ago— you are now reading a great tweet, friendo (@caylenb) November 9, 2017
According to a report by The Telegraph, it's a well-known fact that celebrities and movie stars usually tend to make outrageous and often hilariously eccentric requests.
Some fine examples are Mariah Carey requesting a supply of vitamin water to bathe a dog, Iggy Pop demanding a copy of USA Today that had a story about 'superfat' people on it.
Though Lord might have surely expected something along these lines, he most certainly didn't expect what Williams had in fact asked for.
Heartbroken about Robin Williams. Brilliant actor, compassionate advocate for vets,homeless & genuinely kind man. Blessed to have known him.— Julie Chen (@JulieChen) August 12, 2014
Lord goes on to write how Williams' rider reflected on his desire to help those in need. "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," he wrote.
He says it changed the way he watched the actor's movies since then. "I never watched a Robin Williams movie the same way after that," writes Lord. "Thanks, Robin Williams- not just for laughs, but also for a cool example," he concluded.
Dead poets society- robin williams pic.twitter.com/uFxUzURsU3— Doğa (@dogastnky) September 23, 2019
This wasn't the first time a famous personality acknowledged Robin Williams' nature to go out of his way to help others. Ricky Gervais once recalled working with Robin and exclaimed how he tried to make everyone happy.
"I did a benefit gig with him and there were loads of new comedians that we hadn't heard of, and he spent the whole night at the side of the stage watching them - you could hear him laughing louder than anyone - and they were just blown away. He was a legend. Amazing. It's really sad," according to The Huffington Post.
"Even when he wasn't well, he would just try his best to make you laugh - you could see it was a chore almost but he'd absolutely love it," said the creator of After Life.
Robin Williams clowning around outside The Comedy Store (1978) pic.twitter.com/pCDsQVIaZb— History Lovers Club (@historylvrsclub) September 22, 2019
Aside from Gervais, another well-known testimony is Ben Stiller's moving piece on the legendary actor. "His kindness and generosity is what I think of. How kind he was to anyone who wanted to connect with him. And he could not help but be funny all the time. He would do something as long as it would keep you laughing. He made many, many film crews laugh out loud before the audiences ever saw it. So there is the man and his talent, and I think in his case both were extraordinary." Stiller said.