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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:

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28 Comments Post a comment
  1. Brandon #

    Dang, dude, that got me a little choked up. What an amazing story to share.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 13, 2014
  2. providencesmiles #

    You put this so eloquently. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 13, 2014
  3. Zelda’s letter is beautiful. Thanks for the link!

    Like

    August 13, 2014
    • I thought so, too. Feel so sorry for her and their family.

      Like

      August 13, 2014
  4. The Robin Williams I will always remember was the early ones. When he burst on the scene like a nova. First there was Mork and Mindy and that word that was the bazinga of his day: Nanu nanu. Then he’s absolutely perfect Popeye. Then T. S. Garp in John Irving’s “The World According to Garp”. If you haven’t seen these, find them and see them. And of course the teacher of poetry in Dead Poet’s Society.

    Liked by 2 people

    August 13, 2014
  5. Lovely piece of writing. I feel so sad.

    Like

    August 13, 2014
  6. Reblogged this on iconobaptist and commented:
    This is just sweet!

    Like

    August 13, 2014
  7. I too read the story about how Robin Williams read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to his daughter and it really got to me. That book has always been a favorite of mine and to think about this loving moment between father and daughter made me tear up. He was a great man and will be missed terribly by his family and the millions of fans he touched with his movies.

    Like

    August 13, 2014
  8. Reblogged this on Running In My Head and commented:
    I don’t reblog often; I let the “Other Reading” speak for me. But I couldn’t NOT share this.

    Like

    August 13, 2014
  9. This is probably the most moving tribute I’ve read. Reblogged with comment.

    Like

    August 13, 2014
  10. A great post about a wonderful person. We were lucky to get him at all. I read this same story the other day and it got me the same way. Beautiful.

    Like

    August 13, 2014
  11. Excellent tribute. You evoke emotions of grief and sadness for his family, and focus on his family side.

    Like

    August 13, 2014
  12. Since the childhood of our own daughter I have realised all our kids want is ‘us’. They don’t care what we do or who we know or how much money we have, they just want us. That is what this story says to me. Thank you so much for sharing it. Of all the things I’ve read about RW this week, that one was unique and spoke volumes about him. I wish I had thought to read Narnia to our daughter, she would have loved it.

    Like

    August 13, 2014
    • I agree. It’s such a simple story, but it speaks volumes about who he was as a father.

      Like

      August 13, 2014
  13. I’m like you…this particular death strikes a particular nerve with me. I grew up with him. I loved almost all his films but he was also so down to earth. He wasn’t aloof and he seemed like your next door neighbor kind of guy. It’s so sad to know he struggled so much with depression. The amount of joy he brought to everyone around him and yet he couldn’t get any of that for himself is just so tragic 😦 I hope now he’ll be at peace. RIP Robin!

    Like

    August 13, 2014
  14. Reblogged this on Trying to Create.

    Like

    August 13, 2014
  15. This is a really nice tribute and I agree, there is something about the death of Robin Williams that struck a chord with me.
    I look forward to following along with your blog.

    Like

    August 13, 2014
  16. This is a beautiful post. I feel so sad for Zelda and her family. I too think that Robin Williams’ death has struck me more than any other celebrity’s. It seems like many people feel that way. It may be because millions of us grew up with his films, and he was in so many that everyone knew who he was. He was so versatile that comedy and drama movie lovers alike admired at least one of his fillms. Even when we didn’t all know him personally, he was a part of our lives and we felt as if we really did know him.

    Like

    August 14, 2014
  17. prashantb #

    Really touching story of Robin Williams, My heart goes for his family. He will be seriously missed. No one can step in his shoes. He has left a space void which cannot be filled by anyone.

    Like

    August 14, 2014
  18. Reblogged this on By Hook Or By Book and commented:
    I had to reblog this. It’s so perfect!

    Like

    August 14, 2014
  19. Robin Williams will be missed…. RIP
    http://www.mydreamcloud28.wordpress.com

    Like

    August 14, 2014
  20. This was a great tribute to Robin Williams he was such a gray actor and a very good father according to his children RIP Robin Williams.

    Like

    August 14, 2014
  21. Acy #

    Reblogged this on Imagine That and commented:
    Aaaaand I’m crying again. A story that combines the magic of books and reading with daddies and daughters with the magic Robin Williams brought to everyone with his talent and brilliance.

    Like

    August 14, 2014
  22. nishatfelix #

    Robin William’s death was a shock!! Now that he is gone I feel that something extremely great has been removed from the entertainment world.
    Im still finding it very hard to accept that he is no more. 😥

    Like

    August 27, 2014
  23. Kids can say wise things, sometimes.

    Like

    August 28, 2014

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  1. Reading to my Children | Bespoke
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