The legendary actors were roommates and close friends while studying at Juilliard School in the '70s.
Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve had always shared a strong bond that lasted for many decades. While Reeve (1952-2004) enthralled fans as Superman from 1978 to 1987, Williams began winning the hearts of the audience with his role as a hilarious extraterrestrial in the comedy series Mork & Mindy from 1978 to 1982. He then went to portray some unforgettable characters in films. Before they became top names in Hollywood, they were just two students who met at Juilliard in New York City and were great friends, as per Biography.
They were both in their twenties and poles apart from each other when they joined the Juilliard School in 1973. They had nothing in common other than being roommates and making it big in Hollywood. According to Williams, it was their lack of commonality that made them bond the way they did. "We were totally opposite," recalled Williams while talking to Reader's Digest in 2006. "Me coming from the West Coast and a junior college, and him from the hard-core Ivy League. He used to be the studly studly of all studlies, and I was the little fool ferret boy. (sic)"
In 2013, during a Reddit Q&A, Williams revealed that Reeve was always there by his side to help him during his difficult times. “[Reeve was] such a great friend to me at Julliard, literally feeding me because I don't think I literally had money for food or my student loan hadn't come in yet, and he would share his food with me," as quoted by Telegraph.
By the late 1970s, both of them had become renowned names in the industry and their friendship remained unaffected. In Reeve's autobiography titled Still Me, he shared, "Robin was able to share his real feelings with me, and I always did the same with him. This has remained true for twenty-five years."
Glenn Close, who saw Williams and Reeve's brotherhood while filming The World to Garp in 1982, recalled the amount of fun they had in between their busy schedules. She said during a speech in 2017. "On Friday evenings, Chris would literally swoop in, piloting his own plane, scoop Robin up, and away they would fly for the weekend..." as per E! Online.
However, everything changed after Reeve was left paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of his life after he was involved in an infamous horse-riding accident in 1995. When he woke up in the hospital, he required an emergency operation to reattach his spine and skull. Being aware of his condition, Reeve thought his life was over. He even contemplated pulling the plug.
However, Williams stepped right in to help his friend through his dark times and lifted his spirits with humor. The actor showed up in Reeve's room dressed as a Russian proctologist and that was the first time he laughed. Laughing in his darkest time, "I knew then: if I could laugh, I could live," he told Barbara Walters years later, as per Business Insider.
The Superman star, with his newfound will to live, remained a part of the industry until his death in 2004 from a heart attack. He devoted his life to helping people by supporting the American Paralysis Association and creating the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Williams remembered his friend by saying, "The world has lost a tremendous activist and artist and an inspiration for people worldwide. I have lost a great friend," as per Biography.
Ten years later, the Dead Poets Society actor took his own life after suffering from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia for years. The Reeve family grieved his death and said in a statement issued by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation on behalf of Reeve’s children, "We will cherish him, though, for the quiet and unwavering support he showed our family through the hardest times. The world knew Robin as a comedic titan, but to our family, he was simply one of our Dad's dearest friends," reported Today.
Close, remembering the late duo who were like brothers, tearfully said in her speech, "Their friendship, their connection, is the stuff of legend. It not only endured but became a life-giving force sustaining them both. I am convinced that if Chris were still with us, Robin would be too."