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Austin Remembers Robin

Austin journalist remembers legendary comedian Robin Williams

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Paramount Theater Robin Williams Tribute
The Paramount's tribute.  Courtesy of Paramount Theater/Facebook
Robin Wiliams
Robin Williams is remembered.  Steve Jurvetson/Wikimedia Commons
Paramount Theater Robin Williams Tribute
Robin Wiliams

KVUE — While people across the world mourn Williams' passing, quite a few here in Austin are also remembering the legendary comedian.

Williams was no stranger to the Live Music Capital of the World. He was often spotted riding with Lance Armstrong in Armstrong's Ride for the Roses in support of the Austin-based cancer foundation LIVESTRONG.

In February 2009, Williams electrified a crowd at the Frank Erwin Center, performing his unique form of comedy chaos for close to 6,000 fans. "He was so smart and incredibly funny," said Suzanne Halliburton, a sports writer for the Austin American-Statesman.

In 2002, she was covering the Tour de France when she spotted Williams in the crowd. "He'd gotten to be friends with Lance [Armstrong] because Robin [Williams] was an avid cyclist and he'd make an annual trip to the Tour de France," said Halliburton.

Halliburton decided to get an interview. "He immediately picked up that I had a Texas accent and started answering me back in a Texas accent, he said something about Elizabeth Taylor, and went into a John Wayne tangent, and I couldn't take notes I was laughing so hard," said Halliburton.

Halliburton ran into Williams again a couple of years later again in France. "We were like, 'Oh my God there he is!' He was coming out of the porta potties, like the regular folks,'" she said.

The pictures and memories of those meetings mean even more to Halliburton after Monday's tragic news. "He made everyone laugh and made everyone so happy, why couldn't he have soaked that happiness into himself and known how much he'd given to people and it's just so sad," Halliburton said.

Austin's iconic Paramount Theatre is also paying tribute to Williams with the words, "O Captain, My Captain," on its marquee. The line is from one of Williams' most notable films, Dead Poets Society.

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To read the full story, and to see the video, please visit KVUE.

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