Stuntman remembers Robin Williams

WHITE ROCK – Hook. Aladdin. Mrs. Doubtfire. Jumanji. Those are some of the movies many children of the 1990s (this writer included) can recall with much reverence and, as of Monday, with at least a twinge of sadness.


Following the shocking news of actor Robin Williams’ apparent suicide, a few locals were kind enough to share their memories of the late actor.


One of those is White Rock Coun. Bill Lawrence, who has worked as a stuntman in the film industry for more than 20 years. Lawrence worked with Williams twice during his career, once in the mid-1990s on the set of Jumanji and again in 2006 for Night at the Museum.


"It’s rare you get a chance to see some of the stars as we’re often removed from when the dialogue is being done by the stars but in that case it worked out quite well," said Lawrence about his time filming Jumanji in Tsawwassen and the Lower Mainland.


Lawrence recalls one day in particular when he and Williams’ stunt double, fellow White Rock resident Mike Mitchell, were to crash a car through a storefront in Tsawwassen. On that day, a large crowd had gathered to watch some of the filming and Lawrence said Williams did his best to interact with those that had come out.


"After filming his part, Robin went over to the crowd and started having a lot of fun with the them, telling jokes and making them comfortable with what was going on and putting smiles on their faces," recalled Lawrence. "He seemed to be a person who just always loved to make people laugh from what I saw. He enjoyed the interaction that he got from other people and putting a smile on their face was paramount for him, at least back then."


Lawrence said Williams just seemed really good-natured, upbeat and personable.


"It just blows you away," said Lawrence of Williams’ death. "You think somebody has a bright future, his life was full of bright moments looking in but you never see the personal demons they have to deal with, and that’s the challenge. They put out that outward persona and want to make sure everyone else at least is feeling good but they themselves are far from it. That’s the sad part about it."


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