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“I will never forget the day I met him and he stood on his head in my office chair and pretended to drink a glass of water using his finger like a straw,” director Garry Marshall told the LA Times.

There is no doubt that the late actor Robin Williams had a knack for making people laugh. In a statement about his passing from The Juilliard School, where Williams attended in the mid-70s, president Joseph Polisi said, “Robin’s genius for comedic improvisation was matched by his deep understanding of the actor’s art and how to touch his audience in meaningful ways. As an artist, he brought together a unique mix of traditional actor training with a creative spirit that set new standards for performance in cinema, television and live theater.”

That Williams brought joy and inspiration is echoed by countless industry people, but there are many actors who also praise him for the profound effect he had directly on their careers.

“He made Matt [Damon] and my dreams come true,” said Ben Affleck. “What do you owe a guy who does that? Everything.” Marlee Matlin said, “He was so helpful early in my career. I have no words. I am heartbroken.”

Jessica Chastain credits Williams for enabling her to even go to school. “Through a scholarship, he made it possible for me to graduate college,” said Chastain. “We didn’t have a lot of money and Juillard is a pretty expensive school. Robin Williams was a very generous Julliard alumnus and gave a scholarship every two years to a student. It paid for everything and I got it.”

Although Chastain never did meet Williams during her time at Julliard, she is still deeply appreciative of the education that was provided for her. “Robin Williams changed my life. His generous spirit will forever inspire me to support others as he supported me.”

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