Mork and Mindy star reveals "the grossest things" done to her by Robin Williams
As an actor and comedian, Robin Williams brought a lot of joy to people's lives, so it came as a surprise to many when he committed suicide in 2014 at the age of 63. He had been diagnosed with early stage Parkinson's disease, and suffered from severe depression. Throughout his career, he had on-again, off-again battles with substance abuse and alcoholism. Yet as a performer he was famous for his manic on-stage energy and constant improvisation. Even people that look happy can be hurting inside.
A biography of Robin Williams will be released in May, entitled Robin by David Itzkoff. In the book, actress Pam Dawber reveals some shocking details about Robin's lewd behavior on the set of Mork & Mindy. The 70's sitcom featured Robin as an alien named Mork, from the planet Ork, who moves in with a young lady named Mindy. At the time, Robin was a total unknown. The series made him into star, launching a blockbuster film career that would continue until his death.
Pam says that Robin would do "the grossest things" to her on set - grabbing her breasts and buttocks, exposing himself, wrestling her to the ground, and even farting on her. "I had the grossest things done to me - by him," says Pam. "And I never took offense. I mean I was flashed, humped, bumped, grabbed. I think he probably did it to a lot of people...but it was so much fun."
Withe rise of the #MeToo movement, victims of sexual harassment and assault have been encouraged to speak out. In the current climate, Pam's totally unfazed reaction may come as a surprise. But show producer Howard Storm says, "There was nothing lascivious about it, in his mind. It was just Robin being Robin, and he thought it would be funny. He could get away with murder." He even 'goosed' an elderly actress by sticking a cane in between her buttocks. "I just laughed," said Howard. "I thought she was going to turn and say: "How dare you stick a cane in a woman's a**?" That sweet old lady."
Robin often groped Pam on the set, just because he was 'bored.' Howard says, "He'd be doing a paragraph and in the middle of it he would just turn and grab her a**. Or grab a breast. And we'd start again. I'd say, "Robin, there's nothing in the script that says you grab Pam's a**." And he'd say: 'Oh, ok.'" Garry Marshall, the producer of the show, says the actor even stripped naked: "He would take all his clothes off, he would be standing there totally naked and she was trying to act. His aim in life was to make Pam Dawber blush.'"
It's hard to imagine any of this boorish behavior being tolerated on a television set today. But apparently Robin Williams could get away with it, just because he's Robin Williams.
"Somehow he had that magic," says Pam. "If you put it on paper you would be appalled. But somehow he had this guileless little thing that he would do - those sparkly eyes. He'd look at you, really playful, like a puppy, all of a sudden. And then he'd grab your tits and then run away. And somehow he could get away with it. It was the Seventies, after all."