SAN FRANCISCO -- While the entertainment world was rocked on Monday morning by the announcement that actor/comedian Robin Williams had passed away due to an alleged suicide, his home – the San Francisco Bay Area – was uniquely affected.
Williams had lived in nearby Marin County since high school, and the actor -- who brought to life such characters as Mrs. Doubtfire (fans and admirers left flowers outside the San Francisco residence used to film the eponymous comedy), the Genie from Disney’s Aladdin and Peter Pan in Steven Spielberg’s Hook -- still lived nearby in Tiburon, Calif., and was a season ticket holder for the San Francisco Giants.
“The last few years, we didn’t see Robin around, but we all heard that he was such a huge Giants fan, and we appreciate it,” said manager Bruce Bochy.
In the early 2000s, Williams visited the Giants locker room several times, was a regular on the field before World Series games in 2002, and in recent years, he came down to make the rounds, as well, helping pump up the crowd before Game 1 the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves during the 2010 playoffs, with a modified rendition of his famous line from Good Morning, Vietnam!, bellowing, "Goooooood evening, San Francisco!"
The effervescent Williams even out-circus-ed costumed mascot Lou Seal, hugging and jumping around with the anthropomorphized pinniped as the Giants began their run to an eventual World Series title – their first since moving west to California in 1958.
Williams also came into the Giants clubhouse last year, when San Francisco visited the New York Yankees, as a guest of fellow comedian Billy Crystal.
“He came in the dugout here, when we played the Yankees, and I had a chance to talk to him a little bit, and he was his usual self: Full of energy, bouncing around, having a good time and pulling for his Giants,” Bochy said. “He just had fun with everybody. He said, ‘Hey, we’ve got to take care of these Yankees. I’ve got a lot on this game,’ so he was just cracking up like he normally does.
“Sad day for everybody, not just in the entertainment business and the Bay Area. He came down here occasionally. I think the last time I saw him was when we were playing the Yankees, and he and Billy Crystal were down here. Just a real, real tough day for everybody, because this guy entertained us for years, and was an amazing talent. The things he could do, I was shocked. I was stunned. He’s as good as there ever was, I think, in the entertainment business. We’re going to miss him.”
The Giants will honor Williams in a tribute with a moment of silence and a memorial video before their series opener against the Chicago White Sox.
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