Glenn Close got emotional on Thursday while recalling her dear friend Christopher Reeve, saying that had he not passed away, his longtime pal Robin Williams would still be alive as well.
Reeve, best known for his role in the 1978 movie Superman, died of heart failure at age 52 in 2004, nine years after he suffered a horse-riding accident that crushed his spinal cord and rendered him paralyzed from the neck down. Williams took his own life in 2014. He was 63. The actors were roommates at the Juilliard School in New York City in the '70s and remained close friends after college.
"Their friendship, their connection, is the stuff of legend. It not only endured, but became a life-giving force sustaining them both," Close said tearfully while giving a speech at the 2017 Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation A Magical Evening Gala in New York City on Thursday. "I am convinced that if Chris were still with us, Robin would be too."
Courtesy Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Steve Granitz/WireImage.com, Lester Cohen/WireImage.com
Close has worked with both actors. She starred with Williams in the 1982 film The World According to Garp and also had a cameo as a male pirate in Steven Spielberg's 1991 cult movie Hook, in which he played Peter Pan. Reeve directed Close in the 1997 TV movie In the Gloaming.
"My first connection to Christopher Reeve was through Robin Williams, when we were shooting The World According to Garp," Close said. "On Friday evenings, Chris would literally swoop in, piloting his own plane, scoop Robin up, and away they would fly for the weekend. On Sunday, late afternoon, Chris would swoop back in and deliver Robin back—I have to say a little worse for wear."
"Those were the heady days for them both," she said. "They were on top of the world. They were living the kind of fast and crazy life that our business can hand to you if you become a wildly famous phenomenon, practically overnight."
Close then got even more emotional as she talked about Reeve.
"I miss Chris. He was a great man. He had more...he had more moral and mental fortitude than anyone I will ever know," she said. "It moved me to the core and there times when it even took my breath away. And he was courageous. Against the odds, he had the courage to hope for his dream, which is now our dream—a world of empty wheelchairs."