Aug 13 2014
Here at Kveller, we love to talk about baby names, especially Jewish ones. And if there’s one thing for certain, any name that begins with a Z is automatically awesome. Take Zelda. It means “happiness” in Yiddish, it’s the name of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famously difficult wife, and the name of the princess in the “The Legend of Zelda” video game series.
It’s also the name of Robin Williams’ daughter, who was named for the video game Zelda. The actor, who passed away Monday, was a well-known gamer and active in online gaming forums. Robin explained to Game News that the name occurred to him while his first wife was pregnant and they were playing the classic game together.
Watch Robin and Zelda tell the story of her name in the sweetest video ever: Read the rest of this entry →
Many of us who grew up watching Robin Williams in so many dazzling roles are left reeling at his death at age 63 and the tragic circumstances surrounding it. It’s odd to think that a man who brought so much joy to so many people was quietly struggling with such severe depression, and a sobering reminder that mental illness can touch anyone, no matter how seemingly blessed and glittering the externals might appear.
Like other children, I watched “Aladdin” with rapt attention when it came out in 1992, and became an instant Robin Williams fan at age 6–though I only put a face to the Genie the following year when Williams starred in “Mrs. Doubtfire.” Since then, I’ve followed his career, along with a few million other people, and the canon of work Williams left behind is vast and the stuff of cultural legends. A few of the movies in which he starred have taken on an added meaning for me since I became a parent, and in re-watching some clips in the wake of Williams’ death, I found two parenting tidbits from his movies to be particularly powerful.
First up, in what is generally considered a lighthearted comedy, “Mrs. Doubtfire” actually contains one of the most moving monologues I’ve ever seen Robin Williams deliver in character and certainly one of the most touching discourses about parenting from any movie I can easily recall (and I watch a lot of movies). Towards the end of the film, the judge presiding over the custody case between Williams’ character, Daniel Hillard, and his ex-wife Miranda (played by Sally Field), asks whether Daniel has any closing remarks to make to stake a claim for partial custody of his children. In response, and with reference to his cross-dressing antics, Daniel says this: Read the rest of this entry →