photo Reed Saxon AP
My agent called with good news; a booking on Saturday Night Live not live this time but on set at a hospital and I’m the nurse in the birthing room. Cast perfectly since I’d given birth to too many darlings. I met the staff in mid-town Manhattan, a serious bunch considering they worked with comedians. Excited not knowing what to say in the quiet van, I wondered who was the featured performer. All was revealed when we entered the waiting room. There sat a tanned Robin Williams in very close contact with his agent, also tan. Adorned in snazzy sweaters and white pants.
The director and script writer, who stood wringing his hands over the big break for his career, discussed the scene. Robin ‘s part: a father determined to play cinematographer and film the birth of his first child. In the delivery room we went. A camera woman balanced between her legs the camera for the shot . I did my nurse thing bustling around efficiently but not too much while Robin made hash of the script in his own inimitable way. The doll baby came out. “Stop,” yelled the director. “The baby doesn’t look real.” I said, “New born babies have a substance that looks almost like cheesy off white mayonnaise that protects the skin while inside the womb.”
All eyes turned to me. “Really?” “Yes. I know from personal experience.” A short wait while a mixture was concocted and I showed them what’s what. No extra pay for my vast knowledge. I should have complained to the union. And so it was, a fun moment enhanced with me, during a break, telling the great entertainer a joke. Robin listened carefully taking mental notes. I still remember this now once in a lifetime experience.
Moment 2: The movie, Cadillac Man, starring Tim Robbins and Robin Williams was at a car dealership in Brooklyn. At the time, I was a newbie and newly widowed. The background gang were outside in the dealership’s lot when the rain started to fall. After a few minutes, Robin Williams yelled, “It’s raining. Get these people to where it’s dry.” Nice, I thought. Someone important to the movie finally took care of us or the union needed to be called.
I pray the actor has at least found peace and his widow and those who loved him in life will recover from their loss.