LOS ANGELES Aug 25 With a lump in his throat
and a somber tremble in his voice, actor Billy Crystal paid a
cosmic tribute to Robin Williams at the Primetime Emmy Awards on
Monday, two weeks after the comedian died in an apparent
Crystal, a longtime friend of Williams who rose to fame in
the same 1970s comedy circuit, remembered the madcap performer
as "the brightest star in a comedy galaxy".
"It is very hard to talk about him in the past because he
was so present in our lives," said Crystal.
Few actors of Williams's generation were as skilled in
moving between comedy and drama and for tackling roles as
diverse as a cross-dressing British nanny in comedy "Mrs.
Doubtfire" to his Oscar-winning rendition of a fatherly
therapist in "Good Will Hunting."
Williams, 63, was found dead at his home near San Francisco
on Aug. 11. He had been suffering from severe depression,
anxiety and early Parkinson's disease, his publicist said.
"While some of the brightest of our celestial bodies are
actually extinct now, their energy long since cool, but
miraculously, because they float in the heavens so far away from
the sound, their beautiful life will continue to shine on us
forever," Crystal said in his tribute that was followed by a
series of clips of Williams's TV performances.
"And the glow will be so bright, it will warm your heart, it
will make your eyes glisten, and you'll think to yourself, Robin
Williams - what a concept."
The Oscar-winning actor and comedian had won Emmys in 1987
and 1988 for his performances in a variety or musical program.
(Reporting by Eric Kelsey and Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Mary
Milliken and Ken Wills)