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Yesterday the world was shocked by the death of actor/comedian (and Star Trek fan) Robin Williams. Many Star Trek luminaries, including some who worked with Williams, went to social media to express their condolences. We have compiled those below, plus take a look at some Star Trek/Williams connections – including the TNG role written for him (but played by someone else).
Trek Celebs Wish Robin Williams A Farewell “Nanu, Nanu”
Joining the chorus of millions, many Trek stars expressed their grief over the passing of comedy legend Robin Williams. This included Wil Wheaton, who worked with Williams in the 1997 movie Flubber:
Robin Williams could not have been kinder or more generous when I worked with him in Flubber. My heart goes out to his family.
— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) August 11, 2014
Star Trek writer/producer offered this anecdote about meeting Williams:
met Robin once outside a hotel. On sight, I bowed and said, "captain, my captain…" he smiled. God bless him.
— Roberto Orci (@realboborci) August 12, 2014
TNG’s Guinnan, Whoopi Goldberg – who worked with Williams for years for the Comic Relief Charity – was at a loss of words
BillyCrystal is right…There are No words
— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) August 12, 2014
And many other Trek celebs have expressed their feelings on Williams’ passing:
Deeply saddened by the death of Robin Williams. He was so kind and so brilliant.
— Robert Picardo (@RobertPicardo) August 11, 2014
R.I.P. Robin Williams. Such an incredible talent.
— Nicole deBoer (@Nikki_deboer) August 11, 2014
REST IN PEACE, MR. WILLIAMS pic.twitter.com/x0qiM1WD2x
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) August 11, 2014
No words can express the sadness I feel for this tragic loss. My prayers are with the Williams family. RIP Robin Williams. -ZS
— Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) August 11, 2014
"o captain! my captain! rise up and hear the bells. rise up – for you the flag is flung – for you the… http://t.co/XMC8YlHTZe
— Zachary Quinto (@ZacharyQuinto) August 12, 2014
RIP, great soul. We hope your spirit has found peace. pic.twitter.com/xuFDO2qhXp
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 12, 2014
Reach out, right now, to someone you know is having a hard time, for any reason. That's what you do with this. #RIPRobinWilliams
— Chase Masterson (@ChaseMasterson) August 12, 2014
WOW. Just heard about Robin Williams. So, so sad. If you’re hurting, please, PLEASE get help.
— Jeri Ryan (@JeriLRyan) August 12, 2014
#RIPRobinWilliams big brain big heart.
— Jonathan Frakes (@jonathansfrakes) August 12, 2014
What a sad day. Shocking loss of Robin Williams. A brilliant talent and a gentle man. May his memory LLAP
— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) August 12, 2014
Thanks to Robin Williams for so much, but especially for Dead Poets Society, a movie for us boys who felt different.
— John Cho (@JohnTheCho) August 12, 2014
Just heard about Robin Williams. I'm absolutely gutted at the loss. What a terrible loss. He was a true genius.
— Marina Sirtis (@Marina_Sirtis) August 12, 2014
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) August 12, 2014
William Shatner (who also worked with Williams – see below) tweeted a touching farewell by Lance Ulanoff at Technorati.
My friend Lance expressed the same emotions I'm feeling. http://t.co/oSqiCBXCYL
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) August 12, 2014
Simon Pegg also offered up a favorite clip of Williams’ work.
Robin Williams. A true great. http://t.co/Nt8Smwc1uZ
— Simon Pegg (@simonpegg) August 12, 2014
Pegg is also notable as he is the star of the 2015 sci-fi comedy film Absolutely Anything, which features Robin Williams voicing an alien (along with a number of former Monty Python members). It appears this will be the last feature film with Williams.
Williams Connection To Star Trek
Robin Williams was also reportedly a big fan of Star Trek and he has a couple of interesting connections to the franchise. Having cut his teeth in science fiction with Mork and Mindy, one day in 1978 Williams took a break during the shooting the show on the Paramount lot to visit the set of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. He rode his bicycle to the soundstage, met the cast, and visited the bridge of the Enterprise. According to Walter Koenig (from his book "Chekov’s Enterprise") "his wide-eyed admiration not withstanding, his squeaky-voiced reaction to all the buttons and panels is, "Hmmmm, microwave!""
Williams famous ‘nanu nanu’ handshake from "Mork and Mindy" was clearly influenced by "Star Trek"
Speaking of Mork and Mindy, in 1982 Star Trek’s William Shatner (playing himself) literally ‘beamed in’ to the show, with a cameo appearance in the episode "Mork, Mindy, and Mearth Meet MILT," watch it below. If you listen closely, Williams’ Mork makes a reference to the rumors that Spock was going to die in Star Trek II (which was still to be released).
In 1991 Williams again connected to the franchise. During the fifth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, executive producer Rick Berman wrote the role of Professor Berlinghoff Rasmussen in "A Matter of Time" for Williams. However, Williams had to decline because of his role as Peter Pan in the film Hook. The TNG role ultimately went to Matt Frewer, who certainly gave a memorable performance, but obviously it would have been magnificent to see Williams instead. “Matter of Time” has a whimsical tone, but deals with some relatively heavy material – predestination, the nature of evil, death – but performing heavy material with a whimsical tone was what made Williams a super-star.
Robin Williams’ schedule filming "Hook" resulted in Matt Frewer playing the TNG role written with Robin in mind
TrekMovie will miss Robin Williams.