It took some time for The Crazy Ones creator David E. Kelley to process the grief from the sudden loss of Robin Williams, the star of his CBS comedy series. “The talent was legendary. But equally inspiring, perhaps more so, was his kindness and humanity,” Kelley said in a statement late Monday night. “A gentle soul who touched us all. A very special man, and our hearts are broken.”
Earlier today, Williams’ co-stars on the show, Sarah Michelle Gellar and James Wolk, paid tribute to the late actor, posting happy candid snaps with him from their time on the show. “My life is a better place because I knew Robin Williams,” Gellar told People. “To my children he was Uncle Robin, to everyone he worked with, he was the best boss anyone had ever known, and to me he was not just an inspiration but he was the Father I had always dreamed of having.”
Williams’ early TV success was self-made, with a one-time guest shot as alien Mork on Happy Days that was so memorable, they had to give him his own show. Williams’s lightning-in-a-bottle performances even forced a change in the multi-camera format that has since gone down in history. Mork And Mindy co-creator/producer Gary Marshall added a fourth camera to the then-traditional three-camera setup, which couldn’t capture all of Williams’ physical comedy. That four-camera format is now the sitcom standard.
But, no matter the number, bulky studio cameras still weren’t a match for Williams’ incredible comedic energy. So it was fitting that three decades after Mork And Mindy, Williams‘ second half-hour series, The Crazy Ones, was single-camera. In it, Williams starred as an ad exec heading a Chicago agency with his daughter, played by Gellar. At a Q&A in January, Williams talked about “the pressure of (the show) being a Robin Williams Vehicle.” He said it was a “joy” working on the series with its young ensemble cast. “It’s a great group of people. And there is that whole thing — the pressure’s off, thank God. So I don’t have to be a Robin Williams Vehicle. It’s a bus… The joy for me is just being back and having a steady gig like this, with a great group of people.”