Christopher Reeves (1952, 2004), most popularly was known by the young and the old as the Superman. His other famous films include Somewhere in Time with the classic Jane Seymour, The Bostonians based on Henry James’ 1886 novel.
Robin Williams (1951, 2014), an Oscar winner, was an actor, a comedian, a singer who has been exceptional as Mrs Doubtfire and in the film Jumanji as the jungle man.
Both these actors are no more. With them, their devoted friendship has also gone away. Christopher and Robin were old friends, sharing rooms since their college days. And we all know what kind of strong bond we strike with our hostel mates!! Adversity binds us together forever. It is when someone has seen us in our entirety, no amount of wealth or prosperity, can separate the twain. That was exactly the case of these two exceptional beings. There are many articles written on these two friends. When I read about them, I thought I should share it with readers here and in a way, pay tribute to them.
Back in the 70s and the 80s, Superman was a character every individual aspired to meet, to become. Clark Kent was a journalist, a common man by day and an uncommon super hero by night! This transformation implied a super power which every common man yearns for. And they could feel themselves transform into the Superman convincingly. Christopher made it possible for them. His face, handsome, chiselled and controlled which had the ability to think and act too. There were other big films too, that Christopher acted in.
Robin Williams, on the other hand, was an actor, specifically a comedian, who started as a Stand Up Comedian back in the 70s. We think that this fashion of Stand up Comedy is quite modern. But let me tell you, it used to be a regular feature in and around hotels and other public places in the 20th Century too. Robin was very good at it. He will always be remembered for his improvisation skills and for the many voices that he could create to keep the audience glued to their seats. The major worldwide and admirable success came with Mrs Doubtfire, in which Robin played a woman’s role to be near his kids and his wife. The tussle in the life of a common man, of balancing his personal and professional life, of earning and providing for the family in the same way as expected by them, was convincingly portrayed by Robin. He instantly became a household name. Then came Jumanji, quite fantastic and unusual. People appreciated him very much in that. Robin was also a singer. Art was his forte` and in art did he excel!!
At the peak of his career, Christopher Reeves became a quadriplegic following an accident he met on May 27, 1995, after he was thrown from a horse while participating in a competition. Quite athletic at heart, Chris gave a tough fight to his ‘dependent condition’ as one may put it. He became paralytic neck downwards. With Robin continuously by his side, Chris faced challenges bravely. Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated. He lost his hair that had adorned his face by a condition. His wheelchair and the portable ventilator became his constant companions apart from Robin. But after a prolonged fight, on October 10, 2004, Chris passed away due to cardiac arrest, suffering from various infections.
Robin was left alone with Lewy body dementia and depression slowly consuming him. The decade after the sad demise of his dear old friend, was marred by many challenges for Robin on the personal front. It must have been quite painful and hopeless leading him to take his life in 2014 at the age of 63. It is disheartening to know that beneath the comic flair that must have brought a smile to so many people, lurked sadness, so intense that it finally snatched away Robin from the world.
Christopher is remembered by his kids as someone who did not let his unfortunate accident and the aftermath affect them. He did contemplate suicide days after his accident. But the faces of his near ones gave him strength to go on. He not only gave them a sound education, but also saw to it that their lives would not be troubled by his state. Their routine remained the same. He became the champion for the paralyzed and worked for insurance reforms. He encouraged scientists to innovate positive treatments in such cases. His was an ideal case.
The serious man put a smile on the face of his family. And the comedian made the people cry in the end. Life as we all know, is not fair at times. Life, as we all want to lead, is not what it seems from a distance. Privileges, or no privileges, man has to go on. And in face of adversity, just ‘going on’ helps us in living our life to the fullest later on!
LET US BE THERE FOR EACH OTHER IN THIS JOURNEY OF LIFE!!!