LOS ANGELES – Last year, the Hollywood community was shaken by the death of one of its brightest stars.
Officials say Robin Williams committed suicide after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
Over the years, Williams battled addiction and depression.
However, there were no drugs in his system at the time of his death.
His death is still fresh in the minds of many friends and co-workers who worked with him over his storied career.
Lisa Jakub is one of those people.
“I’m just about at the place where I don’t cry every time I talk about him,” she said.
She was just 14-years-old when she met Robin Williams on the set of ‘Mrs. Doubtfire,’ but his influence has changed her life.
She told TODAY that there were four things she learned from Williams.
Jakub says he always supported her, even though he barely knew her. She says she was expelled from school during filming because she missed too many classes. When Williams found out about the expulsion, he wrote a letter to the school’s principal, asking him to reconsider the decision.
While the letter didn’t get Jakub back in class, it remains in a frame in the school’s main office.
Jakub says Williams also talked about his experiences with drugs to warn younger actors and actresses.
“I remember thinking that was so impressive, that he was so honest and he was making himself so vulnerable and that was so brave to me, that he was able to talk to us about these things in an attempt to save us from making the same mistakes,” she said.
Jakub says his personality on set also helped her become a better worker. She says his amazing improv skills helped teach her to go with flow, on set and also in life.
Finally, she said that he taught her that being shy isn’t a bad thing.
“A lot of people asked if it was exhausting to be around him, because he’s ‘on’ all the time, and that was not true at all,” she said. “He was a little shy. As a massive introvert, I found that so reassuring, that it was okay to be a little quiet and just listen sometimes.”