The passing of Robin Williams on Tuesday came as a shock to all those who knew him.
From news readers like Larry King to stars like Danny Devito and Steve Martin all the way to the White House with President Obama tweeting that “Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny … and everything in between. But he was one of a kind.“, all are mourning the loss of an amazingly sharp witted comedian and a kind, sensitive actor who we were all able to relate to.
A fact that was often overlooked about Robin Williams, who had French ancestry (his mother was a French descendent from New Orleans), was that he was as good as fluent in French and was very fond of all things French, as reminded in this interview with French TV Canal + before the release of “Old Dogs” in France:
To celebrate his most recent marriage to Susan Schneider, Williams went on honeymoon to Paris and said in an interview (with a thick French accent) “to walk around Paris in November is great because the streets are a little bit quieter and a little bit wet and wild and you just walk around going ça suffit maintenant!”
He mentionned a trip to Paris during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, in which he makes fun of the I-phone application Siri:
He was also a good friend of Lance Armstrong and an avid follower of the Tour de France, giving a hilarious congratulatory speech to Lance Armstrong and the whole USPS Team on their win in 2003.
Another, more somber, reminder of Williams’ love affair with l’Héxagone is the quote chosen by his daughter Zelda to mourn her father’s passing. Written by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, the French aviator and author, it reads:
“You – you alone will have the stars as no one else has them…In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night…You – only you – will have stars that can laugh.”
Finally, let us remember Robin Williams for what he did best, making people laugh. His remarkably funny and worryingly accurate sketch on the French has us all in tears.