The Time Robin Williams Read Narnia To His Daughter
When I heard Robin Williams died the other day, I probably responded the same way as a lot of people. Shock. Surprise. Sadness.
Hardly a day goes by anymore without catching word of some celebrity somewhere who passed away, but this one is different. It’s Robin Williams.
Who doesn’t like Robin Williams?
From all accounts, he was one of the most well-liked actors in Hollywood, just an all-around good guy. The characters he played in Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire and Good Will Hunting are some of my all-time favorites.
So I was reading a little more about Williams yesterday when I came across something he said during a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) last year. It’s applicable to this blog, so I thought I’d share.
“I would read the whole C.S. Lewis series out loud to my kids. I was once reading to Zelda, and she said ‘Don’t do any voices. Just read it as yourself.’ So I did, I just read it straight, and she said ‘That’s better.'”
I love the visual of that quote.
Here’s one of the most famous and funny actors on the planet. His name is known by millions of people. His characters will never be forgotten, and his movies will live on until none of us are around anymore.
And there he sits, probably late in the evening, in the quiet of his home, reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to his young daughter, Zelda.
What gets me is his comment about the voices.
Robin Williams was famous for his voices—and the frenzy at which he shifted in and out of character. To have Robin Williams as your father—it would be like having a Monet, a Hemingway, a Jordan.
But, still, he’s your father. He’s not “Robin Williams” as we know him. He’s just dad.
And that brief sentence, just a short answer to a short question on Reddit, show so much about Robin Williams. He turned a famous C.S. Lewis novel into a private show for his little girl, but she didn’t want that. She didn’t want the voices.
She just wanted dad.
So what did he do? He simply read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, sans the character voices, just like any other dad would to his little girl.
“That’s better,” she said. He wanted to make his little girl happy because he was a good dad.
Zelda, now 25, tweeted “I miss you and I love you” on Monday after his death. She wrote a heartwarming letter about her dad on her Tumblr. My heart goes out to her and the rest of Robin Williams’ family today, all of whom seem to be profoundly sad about his untimely passing.
I only know Robin Williams from what I’ve read about him and from his brilliant acting career. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ll miss him greatly. I can’t recall a celebrity death that’s struck me quite like this one, not in a long time at least.
Just the thought of him reading Narnia, with typical Robin Williams passion, to his little girl many years ago brings tears to my eyes.
We’ll miss you, Mr. Williams. God bless you.
If you’re struggling with depression and/or suicidal thoughts, talk to someone. Don’t leave it alone. If you don’t want to talk with someone you know, please reach out to one of these national organizations:
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
- Find your local NAMI branch
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention