Over the years, actors Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve struck up a close friendship. The two spent a lot of time together and Williams became one of the people that Reeve could rely on for some positive reinforcement and humor following the May 1995 horse riding accident that left Reeve quadriplegic.
In fact, it was Williams who was one of the first people to visit Reeve in the hospital as he recovered from the accident. The relationship between the two actors is being explored in the new REELZ documentary, Robin Williams: When the Laughter Stops.
“Robin felt partially responsible for not having done enough to save his friend [John] Belushi, so when he entered the hospital room for Christopher Reeve, he dressed up as a German doctor. He had a thick accent,” National Enquirer columnist Rob Shuter said in this sneak peek of the documentary.
“He insisted that Christopher Reeve turn over and have an exam, a proctology exam,” Shuter says. “Reeve was really, really surprised. He couldn’t figure it out. Then, he finally realized this was his mate, this was Robin Williams. The two of them had a great laugh, maybe the first laugh since the accident occurred.”
Following the accident, Reeve worked on a number of causes and lobbied for stem cell research and also founded the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which focuses on spinal cord injury research and improving life for people living with paralysis. Reeve passed away in October 2004 at the age of 52, while Williams died in August 2014 in a suicide after being diagnosed with Lewy body dementia.
The new documentary follows the life and career of Williams from his stand-up comedy to his major acting roles, and also chronicles his battles with alcoholism and drug abuse during his adult life. The documentary Robin Williams: When the Laughter Stops premieres on REELZ Sunday, August 11 at 9 p.m. ET.
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