The world will continue to be shaken after the tragic death of dearly, dearly beloved comedic genius Robin Williams – tributes from the Irish community, celebrities and otherwise, have had a strong presence on social media.
Williams claimed Irish heritage and a love for Ireland after having visited on more than one occasion. Part of the thousands of tributes and sympathies flooding social media have been homages to Williams from Irish celebrities like Dara O’Briain, Pierce Brosnan, Graham Norton and others, as well as a lovely memory of Williams from an Irish woman’s back garden in Dublin.
Pierce Brosnan posted a black and white photo of the cast of hugely popular 1993 comedy Mrs. Doubtfire, in which they co-starred, along with the post: “Dear Robin...you made me laugh like no other...You bedazzled the world with your brilliant genius. Mrs. Doubtfire and you will forever be in my heart, and the memory of you good man, shall remain constant throughout my days.
“It was a joy to work with you on a film that will be passed on from generation to generation. And to your loving family I extend my deepest heartfelt sympathies and prayers. Peace be with you. Pierce.”
Yesterday, comedian Graham Norton tweeted the following clip from a 2011 interview with Williams on his show:
— graham norton (@grahnort) August 11, 2014
63-year-old Williams was found dead in his California home from an apparent suicide - he had been battling with lifelong depression and alcoholism.
Well, that is a proper gut-punch of news to wake up to. What a loss Robin Williams is.
— Dara Ó Briain (@daraobriain) August 12, 2014
Golf champ Rory McIlroy also publicly expressed their grief Twitter:
A statement by Irish actress Evanna Lynch hit the nail on the head: “This is so tragic, the world needs Robin Williams of all people. So, so cruel. There’s nobody like him. Let’s send love to his family.”
RIP Robin Williams.... He brought joy to so many people all over the world, will be fondly remembered and sadly missed.
— Rory Mcilroy (@McIlroyRory) August 11, 2014
Perhaps the most touching was Jimmy Fallon’s tribute. He was in tears during his speech before showing a clip from a young Williams’s first appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Carson.
Fallon concluded standing atop his desk - a tribute to cult movie Dead Poets Society, where Williams played the influential teacher John Keating – and exclaimed, “O Captain! My Captain, you will be missed.”
Conan O’Brien, who was filming his show when the news of Williams death broke, paid tribute to the “best talk show guest in the world” and spoke about his talent and amazing generosity.
One touching memory of Williams surfaced from Dublin woman Monica Kearney. She’d been a neighbor in Ireland with the au pair of Williams’ children, and when the Williams family came to visit her in Ireland, his kids spent the day playing with Kearney’s children.
One year later, Williams returned to Ireland, and popped his head over the fence of Kearney’s garden where she’d been sitting, so he could thank her for showing his kids a lovely time.
“He shook hands and thanked me for allowing his kids over to play the previous year and said the children had been talking a lot about how they had such a wonderful time playing with our children,” she told the Herald.
"When he noticed my mother was wearing a kilt he put on his Mrs Doubtfire accent and said, 'I see the wee lady's in a kilt'."
"It was great. He stayed doing the Mrs Doubtfire character for a while. He was chatting for around 15 minutes. He was a real gentleman." Kearney said.