On October 5th, the Robin Williams Center for Actors had its grand opening in New York City with special appearances by Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and the late actors children, Zachary Pym Williams and Zelda Williams. With a smile like his father’s, Zachary was born on:
- April 11,1983
- In San Francisco, California
As the eldest son of one of the most influential actors who’ve ever appeared in Hollywood, Zachary had a strong relationship with his father who passed away on August 11th, 2014.
Struggling with his mental health, the 63-year-old comedian led a successful career in the entertainment industry before he left behind his 33-year-old Zak, his 27-years-old Zelda, and his 24-years-old son Cody.
Although Zak made a few public appearances with his father, Robin’s eldest son decided to stay clear of show-biz and lived most of his childhood under the radar.
After the tragic death of his father, Zak made a few public appearances where he opened up about his father’s passing.
While attending the Dana Reeve Foundation in 2004, Entertainment Tonight spoke with Zak only three months after his father’s death to inquire about how he and his family had been dealing with their loss.
‘We’re doing okay. We’re working hard to build our strength and acclimating to the new normal,’ Zak told ET. ‘A large part of what we’re doing through this grieving process is giving and spending time focusing on others,’ Williams’ son added.
Two years later, Zak and his sister attended the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s new entertainment space that has been named in honor of their talented father to carry on his legacy.
‘He is a touchstone for every member of our community and someone whose legacy will live on through the years,’ said JoBeth Williams, Chair of the SAG Awards Committee, about Robin Williams.
‘What was especially touching about this process was the response we received from his family,’ adds JoBeth, ‘This is the first time they’ve agreed to lend his name and we were so incredibly honored that they granted us this privilege without hesitation.’
‘It really pushes the bar higher to ensure the Center lives up to Robin’s amazing legacy,’ she added.
Aside from making a rare appearance at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation in honor of his father, with an MBA from Columbia University, Zak is currently teaching finance to prisoners at San Quentin State Prison.
Co-teaching classes on understanding the market, Williams believes that his father would have been proud about his current curriculum and life goals. ‘I think he would have loved the program and loved participating; we know he’s there in spirit,’ Zak tells TODAY.
While Zak continues to teach less privileged prisoners, the 4,000 square foot facility with his late father’s name on it is an educational space dedicated to remove the isolation that actors, and others alike, are often affected by.
‘It can be very lonely and isolating,’ said JoBeth. ‘The Center will help to change that.’