Fans of Robin Williams were shocked and saddened by his recent suicide. In an article on, Sue Campbell remembers her family’s special connection with the actor and how he touched her father’s life.


Sue’s father, John Campbell, was Robin Williams’s high school wrestling coach at Detroit Country Day School. On Inside the Actor’s Studio, Williams revealed that he had partly based his Professor Keating character in Dead Poets Society on Campbell, whom Sue described as “very idealistic and liberal”.


The two men reconnected after John saw Williams sing his praises on television. This was during a time when things were less than rosy for Campbell. He shared Williams’s addiction and depression struggles, had lost his job and left his family. Williams didn’t judge his former coach—he got him tickets to one of his comedy shows in Detroit. Afterwards, they got together to reminisce about old times. It became a highlight of Sue’s dad’s life.


Sue says of Williams: “Beyond his talent, Robin Williams was a generous and caring person—he lent that helping hand when my dad needed it most.”


Source: “How Robin Williams’ Kindness Touched My Family”, Next Avenue, August 11, 2014


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