"Every actor has that idol that inspires them. That makes them want to bring joy and laughter to the masses; to make people cry and think; to give people a two-hour escape from the pain of their daily lives. For me that actor was Robin Williams," the actor wrote on USA Today.
"I remember sitting in a dark theater in South Florida in the winter of 1992 and watching a Genie come to life in Aladdin and tear a hole in the very fabric of space and time for me. It was at that moment that I realized...'That's what I want to do with my life.'"
He continued, "As many know, my performance as Olaf in Frozen is inspired by the great Robin Williams…Olaf will never remotely touch the tour de force that is Robin's Genie. Because there is only one Robin Williams. But the joy and laughter that my little snowman has brought to children is because of the man who has left this world far too early. His gift was to take all of our pain away and to allow us to escape. If only we could have returned the favor.
"As my best friend, Seth Gabel, put it, I feel like we just lost our life coach. The one who always reminds us that regardless of the hardships we face, he will always be there to lift up our spirits. But, I like to think of him more like the clown…"
"The one who brings us all together, despite our differences and holds court by virtue of the fact that he is not like any one of us, for he is unique and talented beyond the rest. Unfortunately, as we all too often forget, once the makeup comes off, the clown is just a man like the rest of us. Well, today we've lost the clown. And now we're left with the fools. Goodbye, friend."
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).