Star Trek Celebrities Mourn Robin Williams + The Star Trek/Williams Connections


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:

Star Trek writer/producer offered this anecdote about meeting Williams:

TNG’s Guinnan, Whoopi Goldberg – who worked with Williams for years for the Comic Relief Charity – was at a loss of words

And many other Trek celebs have expressed their feelings on Williams’ passing:

William Shatner (who also worked with Williams – see below) tweeted a touching farewell by Lance Ulanoff at Technorati.

Simon Pegg also offered up a favorite clip of Williams’ work.

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.


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Yes, there was none quite like Robin Williams. His movies were some of the best. A couple that come to mind are Good Morning Vietnam and Goodwill Hunting – such great movies. He always had an edginess, a kind of hype (if that’s the right word) to his drama/humour. I sometimes wondered if he was not about to topple. Strange really, when I think about it.

The world’s a crazy place…sigh…:(

It’s hard to imagine that manic energy is stilled forever. Depression is a horrible illness; I’m so sorry it has taken Mr. Williams from us.

It would have been the crowning glory for all of us if Robin could have been in Star Trek. Would love to have seen him with Whoopie in a scene. Now that would have been worth watching!

Was really gutted when I heard he left us. I never knew he was a Trek fan though. Anyone else think that he would have made a great Harry Mudd for the alternate timeline?

R.I.P. Robin :-(

Very very sad and tragic. A great loss of a talented man. A comedic genius. My heart goes out to his friends and family…they have to be devastated. I don’t think anyone in the public saw this coming. I know I was shocked.

R.I.P., Robin! :-(

Somehow, I hope Williams’ family knows that the Trek family offers our prayers.

A true loss.

The guy was talented and funny. I watched “Insomnia” and “Mrs. Doubtfire” earlier today.

He was also great as the Genie in Disney’s “Aladdin”.

You missed the most obvious Trek connection. His red Mork jumpsuit is the same jumpsuit wore by Col Green in the TOS episode The Savage Curtain.

What a talent. What a shame.

Rest in peace to Robin Williams. A truly gifted man and talent. Such a loss. He seemed to be such a great man, from what I hear. Rest well, sir.

Really sad. And probably especially rough for folks struggling with depression.

I went to a new doc yesterday for a prescription refill (I’d run out of my antidepressant) and she asked if I was having suicidal thoughts after having been off the med for a couple of days. My answer was “No more than usual — just a few times a day but no serious plans right now.”

She nodded and said to go to the emergency room if I was seriously planning it, advice I’ve had from every doctor.

Aaron Douglas (Chief Tyrol in R. Moore’s BSG) told a great story at a convention once (I think it was Dragon Con) about Robin Williams accosting him in the street. Williams walked excitedly up to Douglas and, before the star-struck Douglas could get a word out, an eager Williams asked him what was going to happen on BSG.

I was bummed out when I heard the news of Williams’ suicide on Monday. I feel sad for his family and close friends. And for everyone who will miss him. I have to think that he was in terrible pain to end his own life that way. And, in that respect, I’m glad that he’s no longer suffering. Still, it’s hard to make sense of someone with ostensibly so much to live for being so desperate to stop living. I guess that’s the nature of depression.

I used to watch Mork and Mindy when I was a small kid. It was one of the first shows that I remember watching on a regular basis. I’ve grown up with Robin Williams having always been around. He was a staple of Hollywood. Not “leading man,” or “comic actor,” or “villain,” or “character actor,” or “stand-up comedian,” or “voice actor,” but a brand unto himself.

He was “Robin Williams.”

10. Jack

So sorry to hear that! Not to put you on the spot, but maybe you could help us all with something. What’s the best way to help a person who is sliding into crisis, to prevent death? We all know how to recognize when a person is choking, and how to treat them (Heimlich Maneuver), but are there some helpful tips on Depression?

Nanu, Nanu… =)

726 episodes on the ‘human condition’ and I can’t remember any that deal seriously with depression.

It’s time for a new series … one that deals with real, gritty issues.


:( no words

12 Logical Leopard, maybe you could help us all with something. What’s the best way to help a person who is sliding into crisis, to prevent death?

Most of this applies to DEPRESSIVE and MANIC-DEPRESSIVE [BI-POLAR] patients.

— the depressive is talking about how much pain s/he is in;

— the depressive is in desperate financial straits and sees “no way out.”
In our society money is one of the most important elements of social standing, pride, and so on. Financially comfortable people are incredibly insensitive to financial stresses on others;

— the depressive is in desperate straits emotionally — suffering PTSD [military or civilian, PTSD happens to accident, rape and other crime victims], recent return from an arena of war, going thru divorce, deprivation of kids, loss of a job;

— the depressive has begun feeling incredible financial, work, or relationship pressures that cannot, in their eyes, be resolved;

— the depressive has spoken of “saving face,” “honorable death,” or preferring to die rather than being hospitalized for depression; and most important

— the depressive has GONE OFF THEIR MEDICATION — this is a particularly high risk for manic-depressives [bipolar patients], who, when they are manic, feel REALLY really great, powerful, able to face anything, able to do things and are constantly in action, making lists, and so on. However they also show impatience and anger out of proportion to their “normal” personality;

— the depressive begins giving away things s/he treasures;

— the depressive suddenly seems to cheer up, is tellling people what could later be interepreted as loving goodbyes, speaking of how much your love/friendship has meant to them;

— the depressive has discussed methods of ending hir own life and possesses or is shopping for weapons or other means of killing hirself;

— the depressive has ACCESS TO WEAPONS;

— the depressive has MADE PLANS and is talking about enacting them.

I am bi-polar and a few years ago felt such terrible financial and emotional pressures I began thinking about “releasing myself” from the humiliation, pain, hopelessness and sadness. I felt I would “never get my stuff together.” In short, I felt horrible, as if my life were not worth continuing.

Watch for those signs. Be a friend. Yes, a “nosy,” “interfering” friend. Recommend help. Encourage them to take their meds. IF THEY ARE THREATENING TO PERFORM THE ACT call Emergency services. Yeah, sometimes s/he may be making “a cry for help” but that can be the beginning of the journey to mental health.

Hope this helps, and I hope that, in this way, Robin’s death can be a great preventive of suicide by others. He was a flippin’ genius yet could not see a way out of his pain and problems. I regret his loss so very much. He gave so much to the world.

And even if I am not a flippin’ genius, I realize I have gifts to share. Emphasize the gifts your depressive friends give to the world. Many are sensitive and caring people.

Thank you for caring enough to ask!


Thank you for posting this important information, Marja. I’m assuming you’re doing better now, yes? So congrats for getting through that rough patch without “releasing” yourself. I know it’s a constant battle.

You’re a welcome addition to these boards. I always enjoy reading your comments. Thanks, again.

Another Trek connection surprisingly missed by this article: Williams and author Harlan Ellison were long-time friends, Williams even appearing in the documentary “Dreams With Sharp Teeth” about Ellison’s life and career. He is, naturally, devastated by the news.

17. Vultan – August 13, 2014

Thank you for posting this important information, Marja. I’m assuming you’re doing better now, yes? So congrats for getting through that rough patch without “releasing” yourself. I know it’s a constant battle.

You’re a welcome addition to these boards. I always enjoy reading your comments. Thanks, again.


Williams appearing in A Matter of Time would’ve preempted his more serious psychological roles in Insomnia &One Hour Photo (albeit more with the trademark RW humour)

16. Marja – August 13, 2014

Thank you for posting all of that information! I’ve received various training on the subject, because I work in the criminal justice system where things like that are likely to occur. One of the most SIGNIFICANT signs I think that EVERYONE needs to know is the mood upswing and “gift-giving.” It’s not something that most people would recognize as a dire warning sign, because the nature of it makes it seem like the person is getting better, when in reality, they’ve made the decision to commit suicide and they’re relieved that there is an end in sight.

I remember seeing this occur in probably my favorite movie, “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.” It’s been out for ages, but nevertheless – SPOILER WARNING


One of the midshipmen in the movie, Mr. Hollom, is having a horrible time on board the ship. The men who served under him have taken to believe that he’s unlucky, and branded him a “Jonah” who is responsible for all of the current ills of the ship. So, he’s ostracized, has no respect, and when the crew act disrespectfully to him, he doesn’t assert his authority, which brings him afoul of the Captain, who admonishes him. And since the disrespector is punished, the men are almost mutinously disposed against him. So, he’s away from everyone he loves, at sea with men who neither like him or respect him, not particularly respected by his peers or his superiors either, his prospects of making lieutenant are diminishing, which is all of course destructive.

So, Hollom is standing watch one day with another Midshipman, and he seems kind of content and pleased. Red flag. This should not be, because there’s been no real change in anything. Then he starts talking with the other midshipman, and thanking him for always being friendly to him. The other midshipman smiles. In the theatre, I’m like, “NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!” because I know exactly what is going to happen. And it does. He takes a cannon ball in his hand, takes a breath, and jumps overboard, letting the weight of the cannon ball take him to the bottom.

*********************************SPOILER OVER******************************

So, really, when you see things change when there’s been no real changes, that’s an automatic red flag. I appreciate you saying that it’s okay to be a “nosy” friend, because that’s the problem that a lot of people like myself who may not know of someone dealing with depression, it helps us know that it’s okay to stray across the normal lines we draw between people. We don’t want to be nags, but it is important to show a level of concern.

Robins wife announced today that he recently been diagnosed with Parkinsons disease .
Sounds like he was dealing with a lot in his final days .
My condolences to his family and friends

Robin Willams had early stages of parkinson disease according to his wife in this artical

Logical, and the suicidal person may say something to scare off their friend like, “If you report me I’ll never speak to you again ….” but chances are, after some healing, the formerly suicidal person will give thanks to that friend who was nosy enough to interfere.

“Master and Commander” is a big favorite of mine, too. Treat yourself — if you haven’t already — to the books by Patrick O’Brian. You get a really full flavor of the deep friendship between Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin. It’s kind of an echo of Kirk and Spock … the dedicated captain and the curious scientist.

A helpful guide to have at one’s side is “A Sea of Words” for those obscure nautical terms O’Brian insists on using. You can tell he spent ages at the Royal Navy Museum in Porthsmouth, England.

[Apologies if I’m preaching to the choir! If you’re a fan of the books too, I greet you, sir, and give you joy!

The world is a colder, darker place without Robin in it. I am shocked at the impact his passing has had on myself…more so than many of my own relatives who passed naturally.

Mork, Garp, Moscow on the Hudson, Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, What Dreams May Come,… truly a full life’s work but still cut way, way too short. We and Robin were cheated!

May his family know that WE TOO lost a “member of the family”.

Marja: Thanks, that’s a very helpful tip too! I suppose it’s better to think, “Would I rather have my friend alive to hate me now, and possibly be friends again, or to die and not have that chance?”

Oh yes, I am a fan of the books! I got on the whole Age of Sail kick after seeing the BBC’s Hornblower series, which I loved. Then I read CS Forester’s Hornblower novels, and jumped to O’Brian afterward. I had read both of the novels it was based on before I saw the movie, I believe, and I was very satisfied with it. It wove many basic plot points and quotes from many books, and changed some characters around, which is normally a no no, but it felt like a new creation that could stand on it’s own. Rarely have I seen a movie based on novels that could do that. I’m currently reading through Richard Woodman’s Nathaniel Drinkwater series. If you haven’t read them, I recommend you pull out that Sea of Words book, and a dictionary, because Woodman can be just as difficult to get through as Obrian, using antiquated and obscure words in addition to his nautical terms. I check them out digitally from my library for free, using Kindle’s dictionary function. As far as the story….Drinkwater is kind of a Hornblower clone, young enterprising officer. If you like that sort, you’ll like it, but I think I preferred Hornblower, even if I started to dislike him towards the end over the treatment of his wife. *L* But back to the technicality of the language. You know, I honestly have start to treat it like Treknobabble. I look up some terms to get a visual, but much of it isn’t always as important to the story. You need to know what tacking is, but you don’t always have to know what is going on with the specific commands, with people manning clew lines and bunt lines, and setting halliards and such, just like you don’t have to know what it means when Geordi goes, “If we increase the resonance on the subspace Heisenberg buffers, we should be able to go to warp 4.7” All you need to know is that they’ll be able to go to Warp 4.7 *L*

I really enjoyed one of his more recent films, “Man of the Year”, just the other night.

Thank you, Robin. Thank you for Bicentennial Man. And Dead Poets. And Insomnia. Mork and Mindy, I used to watch when I was kid.

I hope you found the peace such a restless soul never had in life.

robin was a one of a kind comic genius….i think,it was the improv that put on their sign, “RIP robin williams…make God laugh…
thanks for the great times at the movies and tv…thanks for comic relief and entertaining our troops…a sad n shocking passing, i have a feeling the parkinsons diagnosis may have been the straw that broke his depression s back….those of you younger…enjoy…the closer i get to 60 n the more health (pills, shots,pains etc.) and various problems im having…it wouldnt take much more for me to tip into depression…in fact docs have tried several antidepressents but cant take em they all upset my already bad stomach problems…and so many prescriptions even with group h. coverage i spend about 150 monthly just on pills n shots n junk….if not for trek n other nerdy escapes and my family n friends …i dunno my motivations for hanging around would be much less for sure so i can understand robins depression…but he was so loved by so many….and so much more talented than most of us….his death has hit me way harder than i expected…there but for the grace of God….and modtmof the world now seems to be embroiled in more hatred,war, death, religious persecution etc. than ever…guess us americans cant police the world after all…

i would have loved to see robin in a trek movie or tv show…but i dont think that role written for him in tng would have been that great…matt frewer does have a hint of mean-ness that i dont think robin would have had in the role he seems too nice to me…

Thank you, TM, for the wonderful write-up for a wonderful person. Like others have said above me, Robin Williams is/was irreplacable as a comic and as icon of entertainment…

So Robin Williams literally walked on the original TMP Bridge set? jesus that’s certainly another reason to morn the loss of both him and that set to the years.

I can just imagine him at sulu’s station right now

and Robin Williams in Matt Frewers place, either could have worked really, although I must admit I think Matt Frewer might have been the better choice as he’s not quite as known as him.

and its always better to give the not so obvious choice a chance to shine.

hell look at Brian cranson, if it wasnt for that roll on the x files, he would have never done Breaking Bad.

wasnt he the dad on malcom in the middle too?

In Star Trek: Generations, Picard urges Kirk to make a difference. I’m proud of Chase Masterson and Jeri Ryan urging people to help each other and to seek help if they are afflicted with depression. That’s the greatness of our franchise. It’s the writers, producers, and fans always making a difference.

Jim Nightshade:

I’m gettin’ older too, and I feel ya. Fortunately I haven’t had as many issues with anti-depressants, but I’m on Omeprazole [Prilosec] for tummy probs anyway. Keep after your doc to try various things, it was like magic when I switched from one drug to another for bi-polar. I hope that some combination of things works and your gut gets better.

Dude, I am so glad to see you here and chatting about our “nerdy friend” Star Trek. It’s hard as we get older to see our favorite movie and TV stars and incredible talents like Robin passing on. I try to focus on the good in my life and some days that is so much easier said than done. But friends and family [and cats and Trek chat, in my case] make it worthwhile.

I didn’t remember Cranston in X-Files! Which episode?

And yes, he was the dad in Malcom in the Middle … quite a contrast to his other roles ….

Logical, Is Woodman’s series the one in which the aspiring captain has a Quaker wife? If so, I’ve only found two of the books and feared the author had passed on.

Re: “Master and Commander” — my ideal casting of Jack and Stephen would have been Jeff Daniels as Jack and Ralph Fiennes as Stephen. Crowe — and especially Bettany — did beautifully with their roles, but I’ve never imagined Jack as quite as “brooding” as Crowe is.

As to the technobabble, that’s kinda how I started myself, then after reading about eight or ten of O’Brian’s books, found “A Sea of Words.” At least I finally found out wtf Bentick Shrouds were, and cat-harpings :-)

I’m not sure the Aubrey-Maturin fandom is quite as active as in the early 2000s. I’d love to get back onto some of those message boards and communicate in that lovely, distinctive language. You know, feeling “frowsty and dissolute” and so on! I remember touring the USCG Barque “Eagle” and speaking O’Brian-ese, and the cadets just looked bewildered by it. What a shame they couldn’t combine reading O’Brian with doing their cadet cruise on a tall ship.

My dad loved reading novels of the Great Age of Sail, and ages ago in HS I read the Nordhoff-Hall Bounty Trilogy. I can’t remember what author Dad was reading in those days [1960s/’70s], but I’m sorry he died before O’Brian started writing sea stories.

“He is not dead, as long as we remember him!”
Live Long, and Prosper!, Gene and Robin.
One inspired us to reach out and change the human condition.
The other inspired us by making us laugh at ourselves while
looking at ourselves.


Nope, he marries a few books in, I think, starts out as a young midshipman. His wife was the daughter of a parson, I believe, but not a Quaker.

Hmmn…Jeff Bridges and Ralph Fiennes? Those are two very good choices! I also agree that the actors selected did pretty well, and I think Crowe’s brooding was more a product of the storyline, the intensive hunt for the French captain. He did showcase some of his good natured cheerfulness, racing the midshipmen down the backstays (?) and encouraging the gun crews, that sort of thing. And of course, there was the look in his eye when he saw the native woman (can’t remember where they were), to allude to his lusty ways.

That’s a shame that those cadets didn’t know what you were talking about! *L* I’d think that should be required reading! It would be at least very interesting reading for someone actively crewing a tall ship. Nordoff-Hall Bounty trilogy? I’ll have to look into that!

We all knew he had issues but it’s surprising to me that he gave up the fight.

Wow. Shocker.

I thought his best movie was ‘Good will Hunting’

A movie where he is the one giving the help.

RIP Robin.

NaNu NaNu