Patinkin was prompted to talk about his experience by a TikTok video posted by a young woman named Amanda (Tiktok username: @Alaska_Webb), which was shared with him by one of his sons.
In the video, she shared that her father died of cancer in March. “Princess Bride was always one of his favorite movies,” she said while crying, “and it’s always been one of my favorite movies, and Inigo Montoya was his favorite character from the film.”
Montoya is, of course, the Spanish fencing master played by Patinkin, who faced off in a famous duel scene with Christopher Guest’s character, Count Rugen—aka The Six-Fingered Man—saying, “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father—prepare to die.”
Amanda had heard that Patinkin was thinking while filming that scene about his own father, who also died of cancer, and wanted to know if this was true.
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Patinkin was with his wife, Kathryn Grody, when he saw the social media video for the first time.
“First of all, your dad is taking care of you. Secondly, it is true, 100 percent true,” he said. “I went outside in this castle and walked around… and I kept talking to my dad, and I said ‘Dad, I’m going to get this guy.”
Patinkin added that his father’s passing was the reason he decided to take the role of Inigo Montoya in the first place.
“The minute I read the script, I knew,” he shared. “I said to Kath…’I’m going to do this part because in my mind, if I get the six-fingered guy, that means I killed the cancer that killed my dad, and I’ll get to visit my dad.'”
A tearful Patinkin then told Amanda that she can do the same—that she can speak with her father “any time” she wants, and “anywhere” she wants.
He expanded on his comments in the video, via a thread published on Twitter.
“To Alaska (aka Amanda – we figured it out!) Thread – Thank you for sharing this with us. My dad died of cancer when I was 18. Kathryn’s parents died within a year of each other when she was 25, her dad of a heart attack while her mom was sick with cancer,” he wrote. “The loss of them has been a huge part of our lives and a huge part of what forged our bond together. We are so sorry for your loss, so moved that this movie meant something to you and your dad and so glad you asked this question.”
Patinkin said he hopes she will find “all kinds of ways” to keep the memory of her father alive, and “to move forward & through this pain and loss.” He also referred her to http://thedinnerparty.org, an online resource described as “a platform for grieving 20- and 30-somethings to find peer community and build lasting relationships.”
“We both wish we had a way to connect to others when we lost our parents…You or anyone else going through a similar thing might find it helpful or useful,” he wrote. “If that avenue is not for you we just wish those struggling to reach out… like you did, and find the comforts and the tools that might work and help. It can be such a lonely kind of pain, but know there are so many others out there going through it.”
Patinkin then referenced a favorite quote of his from the book written by Oscar Hammerstein for the musical, Carousel, which goes: “As long as there’s one person on Earth who remembers you, it isn’t over.”
“That’s part of why I like saying peoples names in my prayers and why I’ll add your dad’s name,” he wrote. “Thank you for sharing this with us Amanda. Big big love to you and your family and your dad.”
20th Century Fox released The Princess Bride back in September of 1987. Since that time, the Rob Reiner fantasy film and Patinkin’s character in it have endured as classics.
The video featuring Patinkin and his wife, and Patinkin’s address to Amanda on Twitter, can be found below.
To Alaska (aka Amanda – we figured it out!) Thread – Thank you for sharing this with us. My dad died of cancer when I was 18. Kathryn's parents died within a year of each other when she was 25, her dad of a heart attack while her mom was sick with cancer…. pic.twitter.com/xbjC7pVI3p
— Mandy Patinkin (@PatinkinMandy) August 25, 2021
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