In 2001, actor Robin Williams, one of the top actors and comedians in the world, sat down with James Lipton for an episode of “Inside the Actor’s Studio.” Like all episodes of Inside, the program ends with Lipton asking several questions from the famed personality questionnaire composed by writer Marcel Proust.
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“If heaven exists, what would you like God to say when you arrive at the pearly gates?” Lipton asks Williams.
“There’s seating near the front…The concert begins at 5. It’ll be Mozart, Elvis, and one of your choosing,” Williams responded.
“Or…if heaven exists to know that there is laughter. Just to hear God go ‘two Jews walk into a bar…”
Williams was a consummate comedian , but he also had a thoughtful side. In the 1998 film called What Dreams May Come, his character travels through heaven and hell to reconnect with his wife. Williams made this comment during the press junket: “I believe in heaven and hell. I’ve had coming attractions of them in my dreams”. He told another interviewer this: “I live in San Francisco, which to me is close to heaven. It’s not, but it’s real close.”
Sadly, Williams committed suicide at his home in Paradise Cay, California in 2014, at the age of 63. The underlying cause of his death was a rare brain disease called Lewy body dementia.