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Photographer shocked to find 35-year-old mime pictures were of Robin Williams

Back in 1974, photographer Daniel Sorine didn’t have money for a fancy studio or extensive travel, so on weekends, he would wander Central Park snapping shots of the local personalities performing.

After thirty-five years, he decided to take another look at those negatives and found an amazing moment of entertainment history hiding in the box: Robin Williams playing a mime.

“What attracted me to Robin Williams and his fellow mime, Todd Oppenheimer, was an unusual amount of intensity, personality and physical fluidity,” Sorine tells us. “When I approached them with my Pentax Spotmatic they allowed me to invite them into my camera instead of me having to chase after them.”

At this time, Williams was a student at Juilliard, one of only twenty students accepted in his freshman class, and it was four years before the world at large came to first love him as Mork from Ork.

Full story at PetaPixel.

Before they were famous.

Photo credits: Daniel Sorine, Graphics credit: Canva

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26 Comments

  • Just bury him already. Enough is enough. Really.

  • Cheryl Benson

    Robin touched a lot of hearts. I see nothing wrong in celebrating him as a way of working through the grief of his loss.

  • lady jezebel

    andrew, what kind of jerk comment is that? enough is not enough for his family, friends & fans, who are attempting to share memories. why not pipe down!

  • sandyRED

    To capture Robin Williams before anyone knew him and his incredible talent — is a major WIN for this photographer.

  • Prove it’s Robin, dude. Looks to me like it was an outing in the park for KISS.

  • Katherine Jenna Heinkin

    Ummmm … I think the photo is a great tribute for Robin Williams fans, such a myself, but there is no way this guy or gal just ‘discovered’ this photo casually sifting through snapshots. He was waiting for this moment … to cash in. Chalk up another tacky / opportunistic moment for Capitalism!

  • hey andrew GFYS. Robin was a comedic genius, you are not even a fraction of the human being he was. go back to contemplating your navel.

  • MJ

    Never enough of Robin. Thank you. He will live on to make others laugh!

  • An Obvious Troll is obvious. This Andrew person came to start conflict. If he really felt sick of Robin Williams he would not have even clicked on a link to this article. As for Big Whiskey, you must be blind or suffer from prosopagnosia. But I just smell another troll. Congrats to the lowlife trolls with nothing to do but belittle the dead and the people that endeared them in life. You two must really hate yourselves inside.

  • Mike

    35 + 1974 = 2009

  • LS

    Mike actually if he was 35 in 1974, he would have been born in 1939, which would make him 65 this year. He was 63

  • Vince Cabrera

    Out here in the tiny pacific island of Saipan, I’ve watched Robin Williams as one of the best “funnyman” in the world. If you know someone suffering from depression, please, at all costs help that person out. Depression is a disease that is a very difficult thing to remove from the mind,soul and body.

  • D

    I doubt this would happen but wouldn’t it be nice if the photographer gave these photos to his children?

  • I do not believe for a moment that Robin had early Parkinson’s disease.
    Nor do I believe he killed himself.

    I believe he was practicing auto-erotic asphyxiation/masturbation…Whatever it’s called.
    And he died doing it.

    Now please KNOW that I absolutely loved and adored Robin…I’m 47 and write comedy for a living so you can imagine that I indeed loved the man and grew up with him.
    I thought he was brilliant like everyone else.

    But I won’t allow the media or the “cover-up” from his wife/clan to skew the reality of what happened.
    We are all shocked because we can’t believe someone so full of life would take their own.
    And Robin didn’t.
    I don’t care what people do in the privacy of their own home. I couldn’t care less of someone’s sexual tendencies.
    And to be honest…it consoles me to think it was an accident rather than purposeful.

    I met Robin in a TCBY on Walnut St. in San Francisco right around the corner from where he used to own a house. I was the only one in the shop and he walked in, at the time, wearing a beard.
    I didn’t know it was him and was being funny with the girl behind the counter. He thought me funny and starting chiming in…I thought “who is this weirdo getting in on my game with this chick?”
    And then it hit me…..and I immediately told him a knock knock joke.
    He laughed and we sat and chatted for 20 minutes while eating our yogurt.
    One of the best experiences in my life. Cool guy.

    And I am honestly depressed myself that he is gone. I really loved him.
    But I am also a realist.

    I doubt we’ll ever find out the truth but it leans towards what I believe more so than suicide. No note? From Robin Williams?
    Yah, I don’t think so.

  • Colin MacDonald

    What kind of idiotic speculation is that to be spreading, Jack? It is well documented that he was depressed for decades, and you only have to look at it, he had a beautiful wife right next door, I mean seriously this is the most inane response I’ve ever seen.

    The man choose to take his own life, for a lot of reasons, as well documented. There is no cover up and many fans will resent your taking this opportunity to belittle his life and death with ill-advised opinion that bears no relevance to the situation at hand EVER!

    Ridiculous response.

  • Ann

    LS never in the article did it say that Robin was 35 when the pictures were taken.
    Katherine :In 1974 the picture was taken and 35 years later which would be 2009 the photographer discovered the photos were of Robin Williams.How is that opportunistic to have discovered them in 2009.
    Jack Madison: I had two family members that died from Parkinsons and both of them were on medications that made them extremely depressed .

  • Andrew if enough is enough for you then stop reading these articles and let the rest of us enjoy a sadly lost talent!

  • I believe Mr. Madison is correct. It is ok that the truth be covered up by his family, it is their decision and dignity. I think the superficial wrist cuts were made post mortem by the assistant. Mr. MacDonald, perhaps your mind is too narrow.

  • Renee

    Or, maybe, Mr. Williams purposely set it up to look like it he could have died on purpose or not…

  • I’ll truly never tire of hearing wonderful stories about Robin Williams. :)

  • of course it is Robin Williams..it looks just like him..and I am still mourning his death he was a big part of my youth..its the sad way he died if it were heart attack maybe easier!

  • jack there was another actor,indian, who most people thought that’s the way he died!!! it would be better if it were accidental…who knows jack

  • Av

    Hey Andrew Martinson let’s just bury you instead.

  • you believe he died of auto-erotic asphyxiation/masturbation, so it must be true? just another example of how people insist on disrespecting those who died & creating rumors. he spoke of masturbation in his stand-up, ‘shaking hands with mr. happy’, so i highly doubt there would be a cover up such as this. yeah, his assistant would carve slash marks in his wrist to help with the ruse. what kind of crazy talk is that? let the poor man be in peace now, he deserves it. and andrew, yeah…if enough is a enough for you, don’t look and read! shut up and move on! the rest of us are feeling his loss and are happy with the outpouring of memories in his honor.

  • no doris, “jack” isn’t correct, it is both of you with the narrowminds. it is disrespectful, crazy thinking to make up another scenario and think the family would do that. or his assistant for that matter.

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