Dear Mr. Williams,
I remember being a little girl and watching some special behind the scenes footage for Aladdin. I saw you talking into a microphone and thought, “He sounds like the Genie!” and then I realized, “He is the Genie!” My young mind was still having trouble grasping the magic of voice-overs, because indeed it was like magic.
After the invention of YouTube, I would look up videos of your shows, interviews, etc. Although I confess I haven’t seen all of your movies, you were one of the few comedians who could give me a good laugh. Not the occasional groan or quiet chuckle, but the stomach hurting, almost-pee-my-pants kind of laugh. But I would have to say that one of my favorite interviews to watch was Inside the Actors’ Studio with James Lipton. You weren’t focusing on the promotion of one specific movie or show, you were just talking about life. And I liked that.
When I found out that you would be performing in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, I was really hoping I would get a chance to see you perform live, since I hadn’t had that experience before. But I wasn’t able to. Still, you were one of the few celebrities whose hand I wanted to shake, to say thank you for your amazing contributions to the world of acting and of comedy.
Because I don’t generally follow celebrities very closely, most of what I knew of you was whatever I would see in the headlines or read on Wikipedia. I’m not going to pretend to understand your struggles, because I don’t. But I do know that you had a certain genuineness about you that allowed people to look past those struggles to see the warmth in your smile and in your heart.
I’m not trying to idolize you, but I am trying to say that you brought a lot of joy and laughter to people’s lives. You have definitely enriched my life, and for that I cannot thank you enough. I wish I could have met you, but I hope one day I can give you a big hug in heaven.