Robin Williams Used His Films To Give Homeless People Jobs

Robin Williams helping build houses for Habitat for Humanity.
Left: Youtube Screenshot, Right: Getty Images
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Robin Williams used the height of his popularity to help homeless people get work on his films. The great Robin Williams committed suicide in the summer of 2014. It was a public passing that many fans and admirers struggle to cope with. Luckily for us fans, Robin’s phenomenal body of work remains behind, as does heartwarming stories about the late actor.

A fan and entertainment industry-worker, Brian Lord, spoke about a rider in Robin Williams’ contract that required the production hire homeless people for work on the film. A ‘rider’ is a document sent by the requested entertainer. For instance, the document contains food specifics and other requests for the proposed actor. These requests often are trivial, such as types of skittles to have in the actors’ trailer.

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Robin WIlliams and Jeff Bridges in the film "The Fisher King".
Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges – Photo by Columbia Pictures Corporation – © 1991

Employment Rider Requests Help For Homeless People

Brian Lord discusses the impact of seeing such a generous note in Robin’s rider. Brian states, “I couldn’t watch a movie of his afterward without thinking of it. You can learn a lot about a person from their rider.”

Although Brian and Robin never officially worked together, the rider was in Brian’s possession. The kindness and love that Robin personified were evident in his unusual request. Brian states, “He actually had a requirement that for every single event or film he did, the company hiring him also had to hire a certain number of homeless people and put them to work.”

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Robin Williams overseas in Iraq supporting the U.S. troops.
Stars tour Iraq for holidays – U.S. Air Force

Robin Williams and his USO Tours

The actor has always been a celebrity for the people. Robin was a USO entertainer for more than 12 years, making troops laugh and forget about their immediate hardships for even just a brief moment. John Hanson, senior vice president at the USO states, “He loved going on our tours and meeting troops and finding out more about them. It was clear to the troops that he was interested in them, from the troops who came backstage to talk about their own sobriety issues to their experiences with AA and the support that he gave them.”

Actor Robin Williams Helps Build Homes
Actor Robin Williams Helps Build Homes – Getty Images

Fellow frequenter of USO Tours, comedian Lewis Black describes Robin’s character as well. Black stated, “His generosity of spirit was as boundless as his comedy.” It was clear that Robin Williams was sent here to bring joy and comfort to us all, wherever we are on this Earth.

Comedian Robin Williams visits with Commanding General of Combined Task Force 101 U.S. Army Lt. Gen. John F. Campbell after the USO Holiday Tour show at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan.
DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley, U.S. Navy. (Released)

The reports of the ‘Homeless People Help Rider’ are 100% true. Or, they could be part of a rumor that was expanded upon, Robin Williams will forever go down in history. For example, he’s forever immortalized for his dozens of entertaining films, but more importantly, for the kindness of his heart.

Whether he caught your attention on Mork & Mindy, or if Mrs. Doubtfire and Good Morning, Vietnam were the inciting interest, most people have enjoyed some aspect of Robin Williams’ career. In conclusion, please enjoy the tribute we put together for one of my favorite entertainers of all-time, Mr. Robin Williams.

If You Love Robin, Check out Robin Williams’s Son, Cody! He Honors Late Father By Having Wedding On His Birthday! So Beautiful! 

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