Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Robin Williams’ Hilarious Story of Breaking Robert De Niro’s Nose on ‘Awakenings’ Set

Robin Williams’ Hilarious Story of Breaking Robert De Niro’s Nose on ‘Awakenings’ Set

Robin Williams and Robert De Niro had a chance to work together on Awakenings, but things got a little dicey, too. Williams, who played Dr. Malcolm Sayer, played opposite De Niro’s Leonard Lowe. The movie itself was based on the work of Dr. Oliver Sacks. Awakenings, the movie, was about the victims of an encephalitis epidemic.

Those who went through it had been catatonic ever since the event happened. Now, a new drug has been created that could revive these people out of their slumber.

As for the Williams-De Niro clash, Williams said there was a struggle when he was trying to restrain De Niro in character for the movie. Then, he said that his elbow clocked De Niro’s nose. When Williams said he hit it, it made the sound like a chicken wing getting clipped. “And all of a sudden, the entire crew went, ‘I gotta go now,’” Williams said.

Maybe what Williams did was actually a godsend. He said that De Niro’s surgeon said that Williams put De Niro’s nose back in place after Raging Bull, where De Niro played boxer Jake LaMotta. Let’s listen to Williams talk about what happened and the reactions by him and De Niro.

Robin Williams Family Lends Voice For Short

The movie itself has a 7.8 rating on IMDb. Williams, sadly, is no longer around to share stories like this one. Recently, though, Williams’ fans did hear about some wonderful news involving Williams.

Disney is working to put together a 100th anniversary short. And it will include many of its iconic cartoon characters. Including, of course, Williams’ genie from Aladdin.

Now, the interesting thing about this is he, of course, cannot record new voice work because he’s dead. Yet they were able to locate some strands of dialogue that were not used in Aladdin. Disney reached out to the Williams family and asked for permission to use Robin’s voice. They listened carefully to what the short was about and gave their approval to use the extra dialogue.

In his career, Williams appeared in numerous TV shows, movies, talk show appearances, and, of course, in animated movies. He burst onto the scene in the 1970s with Mork & Mindy opposite Pam Dawber. The ABC series also welcomed Williams’ comedy idol Jonathan Winters there. Winters played baby Mearth.

In his movie career, Williams had such great range between being humorous and serious. He had a knack for finding the middle ground and making it work for his characters. YouTube is littered with many of his talk-show appearances, so old and new fans can take a trip down Memory Lane.