From Comic Relief to Scholarships, Robin Williams' Charity Was Closely Tied to His Work

9:00 AM PST 08/13/2014 by Rebecca Sun
Neal Preston/Corbis
Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal

The late actor supported several philanthropic efforts, once donating the full proceeds from a tour in New Zealand to relief efforts after a major earthquake shook the region

This story first appeared in the Aug. 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. 

Throughout Robin Williams' career, charity was closely tied to his work. 

The Comic Relief co-host embarked on USO tours to Iraq and Afghanistan and was a contributor to organizations from amfAR to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Through his Windfall Foundation, co-founded with his second wife, Marsha, the man who played real-life doctors Patch Adams and Oliver Sacks raised money for Doctors Without Borders, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Make-A-Wish Foundation (he once chartered a plane to spend the day with a patient).

Like any good stand-up, he was spontaneous: In 2010 he donated full proceeds from his Weapons of Self-Destruction tour in New Zealand to relief efforts after a major earthquake shook the region. Williams also supported the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, established by his Juilliard roommate. (Williams later created a full scholarship at Juilliard; Jessica Chastain was a recipient.)

In his memoir Still Me, Reeve credited his friend for saving him during a dark bout of depression after his 1995 accident. Williams entered his hospital room disguised as a Russian proctologist, snapping Reeve out of his funk: "If I can laugh, I can live."

To read more tributes to Williams, click here.

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