NEW YORK — Folks in the Big Apple have spent the last few days reminiscing about a big personality: Robin Williams.
Outside The Juilliard School, which Williams attended in the mid 1970s, people talked of how he was both an entertainer and an inspiration.
"He just brought happiness to so many people's lives," said student Gemma Freitas, who recalled watching Williams' movies with her siblings when she was younger.
Those who stopped by a makeshift shrine outside the comedy club Carolines on Broadway — where Williams had performed — talked of his high energy and zany roles in films such as Mrs. Doubtfire and Aladdin, as well as on the TV show Mork & Mindy.
Some fans also spoke of their shock and sadness when they learned of his Monday suicide.
Inside the club, owner Caroline Hirsch recalled the time when Williams took on a heckler, even though he wasn't officially performing that night.
Williams came into the club with actress Cheryl Hines, who was there to see her Curb Your Enthusiasm co-star Jeff Garlin on stage, she said.
"In the front row, there was a heckler and the heckler was heckling Jeff," Hirsch says. "So Robin starts to heckle the heckler" and he used an Irish accent so people won't recognize him.
Garlin let the initial heckler know "you are no match for this man" and announced that Williams was the man using the Irish accent.
The famed comedian then came on the stage and did a half-hour set, she said.