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Hollywood Confidential

Published: Thursday August 21, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Thursday August 21, 2014 MYT 10:04:00 AM

Love is all around

Daddy's footsteps: Robin Williams has three children - Zachary, Zelda and Cody - two of whom are in showbusiness. Zelda writes and does voice works while Cody produces music. - EPA

Daddy's footsteps: Robin Williams has three children - Zachary, Zelda and Cody - two of whom are in showbusiness. Zelda writes and does voice works while Cody produces music. - EPA

In one of his final interviews, Robin Williams talks about his love for his children and admiration for his father.

At his final press conference last October, you could sense the once witty and vibrant Robin Williams was not himself in spite of the fact that his TV show The Crazy Ones had been picked up for a full season.

Ominously, six months later CBS unceremoniously cancelled the series, which we now learn was a blow to both his ego and bank account.

Asked at the time if he was doing the show for the money, Williams strongly denied it.

“The reason I wanted to come back was David Kelley,” he said of The Crazy Ones. “I thought this guy was really quality in terms of the writing, in terms of the character; he convinced me.”

So, there was no truth to the story that you needed the job to support two divorces and a new marriage?

That was picked up by one website, but actually no, I’m doing fine financially. Don’t have to work. Doing good, thank you very much. No worries.

After undergoing an open heart surgery in 2009, you did express concern as to whether you could withstand the rigors of a 14-hour day schedule. How are you doing now?

I think I’m fine now. You know, I have a cow valve so I can crap standing up (laughs). No, my heart is really in good shape. They don’t work me that hard. They’re not pushing me physically (on The Crazy Ones) which is great. It’s not an action series. I’m not climbing buildings. It’s all pretty sweet.

How is your relationship with your children? Are they also in showbiz?

Zachary isn’t in the entertainment field. He’s in the tech industry, and he’s doing great.

Zelda’s actually doing great too. She’s finding (entertainment-related) work on her own. It’s not based on me. She’s out there slugging away, and she’s starting to break through on several levels. She’s writing, she’s doing a voice for a cartoon, a lot of small movies.

Part of me wants to protect her, but at the same time I can’t.

Cody’s just now starting to experiment producing music. I’m so proud of all of them. They really are amazing kids. Whatever they do, I’ll support them.

Did your father influence the way you brought up your own children?

My dad was in the automobile business, on the road most of the time so I didn’t get to see him very much, but when he did come home, he used to bring me these little tanks and toys. And I did the same with my kids until I realised it’s better to be with them in person rather than bringing gifts. Not that my dad wasn’t a good father; he was a sweet, loving guy, a great guy.

When I told him I wanted to be an actor, he said, ‘Have a back up profession like welding.’

And I went to my first welding class, and the guy only had one eye. He’d lost the other in a welding accident – kind of a bad sign (laughs).

But my dad was a realist, hard-core, who loved me deeply. He had to work like crazy just to keep everything going, but when he retired it was kind of wonderful to get to know him as a man, and that was really beautiful.

That was a really great moment in my life, to get to hang out with him in San Francisco. That was really lovely.

What are some of the things you and your wife (Susan Schneider, whom he married in 2011) like doing together?

We have those special moments, which you can’t talk about (laughs). That’s really wonderful. I mean she’s amazing.

She’s an artist; she just had a show of her paintings that are really beautiful. I appreciate her on just that level. She’s a friend, she’s my lover, she’s also a great adviser. It’s a wonderful, wonderful time for me.

So, is this a really good time in your life?

I am at a great point in my life. I’m really happy to be this age. I’m not trying to look younger, I’m not trying to be younger. I’m 62.

Some things work well, some things a little slower. So what? It’s OK. It’s nice. It’s a really good time to be me.


> Philip Berk, eight times President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, hobnobs with celebrities to report exclusively from Los Angeles.

Tags / Keywords: Robin Williams, The Crazy Ones, Comedian, Actor, Philip Berk

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