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Robin Williams remembered as the 'brightest star' in heartfelt Emmys tribute

26 AUGUST 2014

Robin Williams was honoured by his long-time friend and fellow comedian Billy Crystal with a touching tribute at the 2014 Emmy Awards on Monday evening.

"Every time you saw him – on television, in movies, nightclubs, arenas, hospitals, homeless shelters for our troops overseas, and even in a dying girl's living room, for her last wish – he made us laugh. Big time," Billy said.

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"I spent many happy hours with Robin onstage. The brilliance was astounding, the relentless energy was kind of thrilling. I used to think if I could just put a saddle on him and stay on for eight seconds I’d be all right," joked the 66-year-old, speaking during the In Memoriam segment, which commemorates late actors who have contributed greatly to television. 

"As genius as he was onstage, he was the greatest friend you could ever imagine: supportive, protective, loving. It's very hard to talk about him in the past, because he was so present in all of our lives."

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"For almost 40 years he was the brightest star in the comedy galaxy, but while some of the brightest of celestial bodies are actually extinct, their molten energy long since cooled, miraculously, because they float in the heavens so far away from us now, their beautiful light will shine on us forever."

Billy, who was a good friend of Robin's for more than three decades, continued: "And the glow will be so bright, it will warm your heart and make your eyes glisten, and you’ll think to yourselves, Robin Williams, what a concept."

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Grammy-nominated recording artist Sara Bareilles handled the musical accompaniment to the segment as she delivered a moving rendition of Smile to pay tribute to the many great actors who passed away in the last year, including Maya Angelou, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Casey Kasem, Lauren Bacall, James Garner, Peter O'Toole and Mickey Rooney.

Robin passed away aged 63 from suicide in his California home on 11 August. On the day of his death Billy wrote "No words" on Twitter, and has posted nothing since.

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