Robin Williams’ Grandson Is Learning All About Him Through Aladdin
Robin Williams’ grandson is learning all about his grandfather, the legendary actor and comedian, through Disney’s Aladdin.
The late actor’s eldest son, 37-year-old Zak Williams, has decided to keep his father’s memory alive in a unique way with his one-year-old son, McLaurin Clement, who goes by the name Mickey.
Young Mickey never got to meet his grandfather, who took his own life on August 11, 2014, at the age of 63 at his home in California. The actor had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, with an autopsy later revealing Williams had been suffering with diffuse Lewy body dementia.
In a new interview, Zak – who is on the Advisory Board of a new mental health programme, Inseparable – told PEOPLE his son is slowly getting introduced to the entertainer through his old films.
Zak explained how he and Mickey’s mother, Olivia June, have ‘certainly considered’ how they want to introduce his dad into the young boy’s life. ‘Certainly through his movies and the cartoons that he participated in is a great way,’ he said.
Zak went on to say how Mickey ‘points at’ a cel they have in his room of his dad that has the genie from Aladdin on it. A cel is a transparent sheet of celluloid that can be drawn on and used in the production of cartoons.
The couple also has other cels from Robin’s films in Mickey’s room, so the young boy can interact with them and learn about his granddad as he grows up.
He’s got a collection of photos and animation cels throughout our home that he sees on a daily basis. I think it’s being mindful and introducing the elements and stories about him slowly.
We hope that we can celebrate the positive elements and his works and films in a way that there can be appreciation and acknowledgement of him both as an entertainer, but also as a family man, and parent and grandfather to my son.
So, the key thing would be for us to introduce it slowly and meaningfully. Taking an opportunity to share stories and his values in a way that we hope can be appreciated and embodied.
Zak went on to say that becoming a father – which he did in May last year – ‘completely changes [you]’, adding: ‘[It gives you] perspective on what it takes to actually show up for another person.’
‘To be a present and engaged parent requires focus and commitment to time and an effort that… it’s a lot,’ he explained. ‘But the rewards are unlike anything I’ve experienced before.’
The proud dad added: ;What was new to me was the amount of effort required to show up for a little human. It’s been the most rewarding thing I’ve experienced to date.’
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.