Zelda and Robin Williams, at the premiere of Old Dogs together in 2009
Zelda and Robin Williams, at the premiere of Old Dogs together in 2009

OPINION: Everyone has a memory of Robin Williams

COMMENT BY SAMI MUIRHEAD: THE sadness in the news this week seems relentless.

Baby Gammy's situation breaks my heart. The little boy's pathetic father - a convicted pedophile who left his sick child in a hospital with huge health issues - makes me humiliated to be part of the human race.

Then there was the horrible news I could not stop thinking about: actor Ada Nicodemou's son was stillborn after a seven-and-a-half month pregnancy.

And every time I turn on the TV there is an image of an Iraqi or Syrian child injured in sickening acts I find it very hard to wrap my head around.

We lost Lauren Bacall yesterday to the big stage in the sky and everyone is sad about the death of Robin Williams. Everyone. It is quite astounding.

He was the highlight of my afternoon when I was a child. My mum was super strict and we were not allowed to watch TV except for the ABC news and Mork and Mindy. Go figure what was behind my mum's logic, but they were the rules.

Watching Mork from Ork took us to a fantasy world and to this day when my siblings and I see each other we often do that secret little handshake and say "Nan-Nu Nan-Nu" in a private joke between our clan.

It seems everyone has a primal memory of Robin Williams. My parent-in-laws told me they were sad about his death because The Birdcage was their favourite movie.

My friend Nugget is in his 30s and lamented, "When I was eight years old my parents took me to see Good Morning Vietnam. I had literally no idea what the movie was about, but I was blown away by how this guy up on the screen had everyone in fits of laughter. It was that day that I decided that being funny was a powerful and amazing thing and I've been the class clown every since."

Nugget grew up to work as a funny guy in radio.

My eight-year-old nephew sleeps under a doona that has an image of Ramon from Happy Feet 2. My workmate Baz is in his 40s and his favourite movie is The World According To Garp. Shirl is in her 70s and her all-time favourite movie is Good Will Hunting.

And I loved what my friend Amy texted me: "I do not remember when I first saw Robin Williams - he just always seemed to be there, like an onscreen, distant but loving favourite uncle. My siblings and I watched Aladdin until the VHS began to skip and we had to fill in the dialogue ourselves."

Damn you depression and the dark ways you work.

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