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Robin Williams Remembered by James Lipton, Cheryl Hines, Tributes on Morning Shows

'Good Morning America,' 'Today' and 'CBS This Morning' all devoted a significant portion of Tuesday's episodes to the comedian's death

Robin Williams - H 2014
AP Images/Invision
Robin Williams

Robin Williams' death was the top story on Good Morning America, Today and CBS This Morning on Tuesday, as all three of the network morning shows remembered the comedian, who was found dead on Monday of an apparent suicide.

GMA even framed Tuesday's show as a special edition devoted to Williams and spent the first 13 minutes of Tuesday's broadcast solely covering the tragedy, beginning with the news of his death, which correspondent Cecilia Vega reported on from outside the house that served as the home of the Hillard family in Mrs. Doubtfire. The site is home to one of the many makeshift memorials to Williams that have sprung up overnight; other sites include, as both GMA and Today noted, the comedian's Northern California home, The Laugh Factory on Sunset Boulevard, his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Good Will Hunting bench in Boston. Today, meanwhile, ran a report on Williams' death from Los Angeles with correspondent Joe Fryer before looking back at other aspects of his life and career. Today also spoke to Williams' Northern California neighbors and film critic Leonard Maltin. CBS This Morning began with correspondent John Blackstone outside Williams' home. CBS also spoke to someone who had attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings with Williams.

All three shows aired clips of Williams' memorable performances in films, TV shows and onstage as well as moments from his interviews on their respective networks over the years, with GMA highlighting his sit-downs with Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts and Today airing the below montage of his memorable appearances on the NBC morning show.

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Among the clips shown across all three shows were moments in which Williams discussed his battle with addiction, and both GMA and Today brought out their medical correspondents to discuss addiction, depression and how the two can affect each other.

The morning show co-hosts also recalled some of their favorite Williams memories and acknowledged how other stars were remembering Williams on social media. CBS This Morning host Charlie Rose, in particular, took a few minutes at the end of Tuesday's show to recount his experiences interviewing Williams.

In terms of special guests, Good Morning America spoke to Cheryl Hines, who played Williams' wife in the movie RV. Phoning in to the show, Hines recalled how friendly and generous Williams was, relating that when she mentioned that she was hot and sweaty on the set of the movie, he put his head in her armpit, which was one of their first interactions.


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On Today, James Lipton, who interviewed Williams for a memorable edition of Inside the Actors Studio recalled Williams' talent as an actor.

"His gift was the most mysterious of all gifts," Lipton said. "It was genius. Genius is inexplicable. ... You can teach craft. You can teach technique. You can't teach genius."

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The show also aired a clip of Williams' 2001 appearance on Lipton's show, when he revealed what he'd like to hear God say when he arrived at the pearly gates.

"Just, if heaven exists to know that there's laughter, that would be a great thing," Williams said. "Just to hear God go, 'Two Jews walk into a bar …' "

On Tuesday, Lipton said, "I have a suspicion … God is laughing right now."

Meryl Streep, on Today to promote her new film The Giver, also took a moment to remember Williams, calling him "a generous soul."

"It's hard to imagine unstoppable energy stopped," she added.

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Today also aired a segment on Williams' bond with Christopher Reeve.

Friends from their Juilliard days, Williams and Reeve shared a lighthearted moment shortly before Reeve faced a risky surgical procedure after his 1995 accident.

As Reeve was pondering his own mortality, Today host Willie Geist recounted, Williams burst through the hospital room door, put on a latex glove and said in a Russian accent, "Your proctologist is here for the exam"

"It was the first time I had laughed since my accident and I knew I was going to come out of that surgery," Reeve said, according to Geist, who noted that the Superman star did make it through the procedure.

 

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GMA also noted that there would be a special edition of 20/20 Tuesday night= devoted to Williams' career.