Robin Williams is forever cemented in our memories as someone who turned some of our favorite movies into masterpieces. Sure, the movies would still exist without him, but what Robin Williams added extended far beyond talent. The late comedy genius enriched every one of his movies in more ways than one, breathing new life into already thrilling plots and making viewers feel like they were somehow part of the story.
Those who had the privilege of working with Williams acknowledged both his talent and his character, recognizing that what he brought to the set was unparalleled. Every year on Williams’s birthday, tributes pour in from friends, family, and those he continues to inspire. One such tribute came from Williams’ Hook co-star Dante Basco, who played Rufio when he was just a teen.
“I just wanted to say happy birthday to #RobinWilliams,” Basco wrote on Instagram. “This is a picture on the Sony lot during shooting when my brothers & cousin came to visit & we gave him a hat we made at Compton Indoor swap meet.”
“We embroidered the name of our crew we created after watching #DeadPoetsSociety, it was the address of the garage we all lived in together growing up, “13607 1/2”. We wrote poems and raps and tried to live like they did in the movie & ‘suck the marrow out of life.’ He’ll never know how much he’s impacted my life… O captain, my captain… You are the Pan!”
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From a young age, Basco was deeply inspired by Robin Williams’s unmatched talent. After working with him in person, his sense of admiration only deepened. Williams worked to ensure the young actors felt completely at ease on set, treating everyone he encountered with kindness and respect. For Basco, working with greats like Steven Spielberg, Robin Williams, Bob Hopkins, and Dustin Hoffman at such a young age was transformative.
“It was so impactful to me as a young artist,” Basco recalled in an interview with ComicBook.com. “I’d come to spend my days off to watch these guys work, to be in the presence of greatness and really see what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. Really, really amazing.”