Comedy icon’s ‘Mork & Mindy’ co-star reflects
For Pam Dawber, there still is pain in thinking of Robin Williams, but also many smiles in recalling the work and laughs they shared.
The late, typically manic comedian’s “Mork & Mindy” co-star is a natural “go-to” whenever a project about him is made, and she’s among the interviewees in the new HBO documentary “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind” Monday, July 16. With actor-comic-director David Steinberg among its executive producers, the special offers rare footage of its subject as Billy Crystal, David Letterman, Steve Martin, Whoopi Goldberg and Steinberg himself also comment on the thoroughly unique talent and individual Williams was.
“It really covers Robin,” the pleasant Dawber says about the program. ”It covers parts of his life that I didn’t know about, and I think this will probably cap it for everything Robin Williams at this point. I just think everybody is still so shocked to see him in these things and he’s so joyous, and all of our heads still spin (over his passing). And I think that, especially, everybody who knew him still can’t figure out what happened.”
Oscar, Emmy and Grammy winner Williams died of suicide on Aug. 11, 2014, and Dawber also participated in a PBS “Masters of Television” tribute to him that was broadcast only one month later. She reflects, “Robin was such a comedic genius, and he made so many people happy, I think that’s why everyone wants to keep revisiting his life.”
Allowing that when she speaks of Williams, “I still get emotional about it,” Dawber says a DVD compilation of many of his comedy performances is in the works. She has contributed remarks to the portion dealing with “Mork & Mindy,” the hugely and globally popular, Garry Marshall-produced 1978-82 ABC sitcom about an alien and the earthling who befriends him.
After that show ended, “I saw Robin more frequently when I was dating Mark (‘NCIS’ star Harmon) and when we were first married,” Dawber recalls. “Mark threw a birthday party for me in San Francisco, and Robin came. But then, you have your kids and you have your careers and life goes on. Prior to ’The Crazy Ones’ (Williams’ 2013-14 CBS comedy series, on which Dawber made a guest appearance), I hadn’t seen Robin in so long.
“Just having spent that many years with him, we kind of grew up together. I was expecting a certain something, and that’s where I was shocked personally to see that something was just not right. I kept trying to figure out, ‘What is it?’… and upon his death, I think just about all of his friends were trying to figure it out. And I know Robin was trying to figure it out.”