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Christopher Reeve Had Given Up On Life Until Robin Williams Made Him Laugh For First Time Since Paralyzing Accident

Christopher Reeve Had Given Up On Life Until Robin Williams Made Him Laugh For First Time Since Paralyzing Accident

The two actors were like brothers and Robin Williams pulled Christopher Reeve out of the despair he felt while in the hospital.

It was at a point where Christopher Reeve had completely given up and wondered if there was any pointing in him living anymore. But the moment his dear friend of many years burst through the door, he instantly felt a rush of hope and felt like he could fight through.

In 1995, after Reeve had a horse-riding accident, he was left paralyzed and was completely devastated. In an interview he later gave with Barbara Walters, he said he "wanted to die," according to the Daily Mail. While he was there in the hospital, feeling absolutely gutted, a man with a blue scrub hat and a yellow surgical gown walked into the room and started speaking with a Russian accent, saying that he was there to perform a rectal exam on Reeve.

Recalling that moment in his autobiography, Still Me which came out in 1996, Reeve said, "I lay on my back, frozen, unable to avoid thinking the darkest thoughts. Then, at an especially bleak moment, the door flew open and in hurried a squat fellow with a blue scrub hat and a yellow surgical gown and glasses, speaking in a Russian accent. He announced that he was my proctologist and that he had to examine me immediately. My first reaction was that either I was on way too many drugs or I was in fact brain damaged."

"He insisted that Christopher Reeve turn over and have an exam, a proctology exam," said National Enquirer columnist Rob Shuter about the incident in Robin Williams: When the Laughter Stops, according to Us Weekly.



 

It took Reeve a while to realize that the man in the guise of a Russian proctologist was none other than Robin Williams.

"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," the columnist said.

Both Reeve and Williams had been friends for a long time and have seen it each other through life's good and bad. Many years before they became the leading stars of world-famous movie hits, the two of them were roommates Julliard School in New York City. It was there that their relationship bloomed and they became "closer than brothers," according to Reeve's wife, Dana, reported the Daily Mail.



 

Reeve also said in his autobiography that the prank Williams played on him in the hospital was the first time he felt some feeling of hope since the accident took place. "For the first time since the accident, I laughed. My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay," the actor said.

What the Superman actor and the great comedian shared that day in the hospital room was something that Reeve carried with him even after the accident.

"He was the first one to show up down in Virginia when I was really in trouble," Reeve later told Today. "He came here one afternoon and just— thank God I wear a seatbelt in this chair because I would have fallen out laughing. It's funny. In the middle of a tragedy like this, in the middle of a depression, you can still experience genuine joy and laughter and love."



 

Not only did Williams show up for his friend when he was alive but he did the same even after Reeve passed away by being there for his family. In 2004, when Reeve passed away, Williams was there right by the family's side and tried to make their grief a little lighter, even while he, too, was grieving the loss of his dear old friend.

Reeve's children, who saw their father paralyzed, still remember how important Williams was in helping their father bring back the old spirit he had in his life even after being paralyzed. They paid tribute to Williams after his death by telling the world that they won't remember him as just a comedian and a brilliant actor but also as the man who helped in bringing back the laughter in their father's life.

Robin Williams with Christopher Reeve, wife Dana Reeve, and son Will in New York City on May 7, 2004. (Source: Getty Images | Photo by Evan Agostini)

"After our father's accident, Robin's visit to his hospital room was the first time that Dad truly laughed. Dad later said, 'My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay,'" the Reeve family wrote in their tribute to Williams, posted on the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation's website.

The family will always treasure Williams for everything he did for Reeve. And the family added, "...Beyond the gift of laughter, he gave our family and the Reeve Foundation the gift of his simple, steadfast friendship." 

References:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2722888/Closer-brothers-Robin-Williams-extraordinary-friendship-Christopher-Reeve-penniless-roommates-Hollywood-highs-helping-save-friends-life.html
https://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/how-robin-williams-cheered-up-christopher-reeve-after-accident/
https://www.today.com/popculture/robin-williams-remembered-christopher-reeves-family-dads-dearest-friend-1D80054349
https://www.christopherreeve.org/about-us/executive-memos/remembering-robin