Ben Stiller, ‘Night at the Museum’ Cast Honor Robin Williams at Premiere

Ben Stiller Night at the Museum
Jim Spellman/WireImage

At the world premiere of 20th Century Fox’s film “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” held at New York’s Ziegfeld Theatre on Thursday, the cast honored the life of the late Robin Williams, who makes his final screen performance in director Shawn Levy’s third installment of the popular franchise. Williams’ widow, Susan Schneider, attended the event.

Williams died on Aug. 11 at his home in Tiburon, Calif. He was 63.

“I will never forget his generosity,” Ben Stiller told Variety. “I got to work with him a few times over the years, and he was the kindest person.”

Co-star Ricky Gervais remembers the Oscar winner mostly as a caring friend.

“We quickly became mates. He was so approachable and just a lovely bloke,” Gervais shared. “He made you feel good however he was feeling. I will always remember the time I was doing the Bob Woodruff benefit with the soldiers and Robin stayed by the stage all night watching all the acts. He laughed and told everyone how good they were. He didn’t have to do that. He treated everyone with so much respect. That sums him up. He was so sweet.”

For Skyler Gisondo, who plays Stiller’s son in the family adventure movie, Williams was a mentor and the guy who helped him get a date for the high school prom.

“I was a senior in high school at the time of filming, and I wasn’t going to be back in time to ask a date to the prom,” Gisondo told Variety. “So I asked Robin and Ben to be in a prom proposal video that I was making to ask a girl. I got enthusiastic yeses from both of them. When we were about to shoot the skit, Robin kept asking me, ‘Can I say this? Can I say that? Is it okay if I make a joke?’ And I’m like, ‘You’re Robin Williams, please say anything you want.'” When the cameras started rolling, Robin started marching around and making funny jokes about me. The video worked and she said yes. Making that with him was the highlight of my life.”

Owen Wilson collaborated with Williams on all three “Night at the Museum” films, but it was during his time off the set that he bonded with the comic.

“I was always paired with him at the press junkets, and seeing Robin up close was a huge learning experience,” Wilson said. “The junkets can be a little tedious, and he was always telling fresh, funny jokes. Seeing how brilliant he was made me realize he was one of the best. There will never be anyone like him.”

After the screening, the night’s festivities concluded at the American Museum of Natural History’s Theodore Roosevelt rotunda, which was a fitting tribute to Williams as he plays the 26th president in the film. Many guests brought their children to the bash, including Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor. Partygoers ate chicken fingers, macaroni and cheese, steak and pepperoni pizza.

“Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” opens Dec. 19.

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  1. Ruth Carpenter says:

    I have been a a Robin Williams Fan from a long way back. Now I know he is up there with my Husband Gary and When I get there, Boy will I be getting some Razing from both of them, for taking so long. getting there.

  2. Dick Delson says:

    I worked with Robin on “Good Will Hunting”. He was a treasure.

  3. Georgette says:

    Can’t wait to see this loved you Robin Williams

  4. Ryan J.S. says:

    As much as I’ll be looking forward to see Williams on the big screen one last time, this was also the late Mickey Rooney’s last film as well, one of the last legends of Hollywood’s Golden Years. I hope his memory is equally dedicated to Williams in the movie.

  5. Dan, I totally agree.
    February 27th of this year, my Father passed away from Parkinson’s. While I do treasure EVERY single moment of time I spent with him, it was beyond words how HORRIBLE it was to watch the strong, vibrant man I grew up with wither into a shadow of his former self, to see such a strong independent man confined to a (albeit beautiful) hospice setting. His last words to me were on a whisper of breath, he was in so much pain four doses of morphine didn’t make a dent, after we told each other we loved each other, and I told him “You know you’ll always be with me, don’t you Dad?” He whispered “Yes” and asked me to leave. I didn’t want to go. I knew it was the last time I’d see him. But I knew he didn’t want me to see him like that. My heart was breaking, and when the phone rang the nest day, when my sister called, there was a moment like vertigo, where it felt like the world spun away from me, swirling around…they say when you die, your life flashes before you eyes. Well in some cases, it happens to those left behind too. So many memories bombarding me. Still do to this day. And I miss my Daddy, not only the man I last saw lying in a hospice bed, but my DAD, my support, my friend, my teacher and so much more. The pain of losing him will never leave me-but part of me selfishly wishes he had passed in a quicker way, where he didn’t suffer. But he was here to teach me lessons, and he did that, and he will always be with me.And now I face my first Xmas without him-my Christmas Spirit is at about 10%. It’s just not the same with him, and I have so much more crap in my life too,..

    Robin spared his children all that. It was the most selfless of acts-I realize his family and friends don’t see it that way, but I tell you, you do NOT want to watch a man you loved deteriorate, you should thank him for sparing you that, as odd as that sounds. When he was turning back to wax in the movie-and I had tears in my eyes every scene he was on-part of me wished that that could really happen to those we love, so they would always stay the way we remember them. Robin also gave all of us SOO much. His magic lives on in all the movies, shows, and events he did. We love you Robin. And I for one, I get it. Fly high, and we know you will always be there somewhere…

  6. Not only did he have Parkinson’s disease, but he was suffering from an early onset dementia with a rapid pace of deterioration. He was about to lose all quality of life, and as someone who’d struggled and held out against depression for many years, it finally became too much and he gave in.

    While you assert that he probably was thinking only of himself, and not of his family, it’s more likely the opposite, that he didn’t want to become a burden to them, or have them see him end up in such a sad state. Of course, his family would certainly disagree with that conclusion, I’m sure, but illness and chemical imbalances in the brain are not exactly conducive to clear thinking.

    Robin Williams was one of my favorite actors of all time, and I felt a profound sense of loss at his death. But I think it’s more important to be compassionate, to try not to judge him for his actions, and to celebrate his life and enormous body of work. Mr. Williams was brave enough to face his depression for many decades, but sadly life dealt him a rotten hand. I thank him for holding out as long as he did, and blessing the world with his unique charm, humor, and wit.

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