'Fonzie' Recalls Robin Williams' TV Debut: 'He Was a Miracle'

Before 'Mork & Mindy' came a cameo on 'Happy Days'

By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 12, 2014 10:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – Robin Williams fans know that the TV show Mork & Mindy launched him to national fame. But bigger fans know that he first played his alien character in an episode of Happy Days. Last night, Henry "the Fonz" Winkler told Rachel Maddow on MSNBC that it was clear from the start that the young, unknown Williams was something special. Some snippets, as noted by Raw Story:

  • Little rehearsal: Williams got brought in on a Wednesday, and the show shot on Friday. Didn't matter. "No hyperbole: You knew you were in the presence of somebody very special—of greatness."

  • Jaw-dropping: "It was not chutzpah. It was not nerve. It was his soul, it was the way he was put on the Earth. You said something to him, he sucked it in, and he blew it out, and it came out with such originality and so powerfully, your jaw dropped."
  • Kind, too: "He was a miracle. I'm not kidding. It took your breath away. And how was he when he was just talking to you? As quiet and as gentle as the breeze. No matter when you saw him, no matter how long it was, you were first met with a hug. He talked to you like you were the only human being in the world at that moment."
Watch the full clip at MSNBC or read other tributes.

This 1978 file photo originally released by ABC shows Robin Williams on the set of ABC's Mork & Mindy.
This 1978 file photo originally released by ABC shows Robin Williams on the set of ABC's "Mork & Mindy."   (AP Photo/ABC, File)
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