The outpouring of grief has been overwhelming since news of Robin Williams’ death spread early yesterday evening. Actors, comedians, and filmmakers from all over have been sharing their experiences of working with Williams, but few have had the opportunity to do so when they were kids. Mara Wilson, Matthew Lawrence, and Lisa Jakub played the Hillard children in Mrs. Doubtfire, who are the reason Williams’ character disguises himself as a British nanny, so he could spend more time with them.
Each of them had their own reactions to the news of Williams’ sudden passing. Wilson, played the youngest Hillard and hasn’t acted since 2013, kept it simple with this tweet:
Very sad, very upset, very glad I did not have to hear about this though Twitter. Probably going to be taking some time off it for a while.
— Mara Wilson (@MaraWritesStuff) August 11, 2014
Jakub, who went on to star in Independence Day but hasn’t appeared in a movie since 2000, wrote a heartfelt thank you note to Williams, for standing up for her when she was kicked out of school for accepting the Mrs. Doubtfire job. Williams wrote a letter to her high school insisting Jakub be reinstated, and although it didn’t work, it showed the young actress that Williams had her back in a business where not many people did. “Even though I had not spoken with Robin in a very long time,” she wrote, “I always assumed there would be some future opportunity to tell him that his letter changed my life. It taught me that you stand up for the things that matter. And even if your attempts fail, you tried. You told the truth. You took care of your friends. You fought back.” You can see Williams’ letter to the high school below.
As for Matthew Lawrence, who seemed very excited about the prospect of a Mrs. Doubtfire sequel, does not have Twitter and has yet to make a public statement.