Wayne Brady shares emotional story of how Robin Williams impacted his life while hospitalized

wayne brady face shot at the Premiere Of Sony Pictures' 'Spider-Man Far From Home'
Wayne Brady recalled how Robin Williams had a major impact on his life. Pic credit: © Acosta/Image Press Agency

Wayne Brady recalled how the legendary Robin Williams was an early source of comfort and inspiration.

Brady, 52, talked about how the comedian, whom he considered amongst his biggest “heroes,” assisted in his journey of self-discovery.

He spoke about Williams with Entertainment Weekly as part of an upcoming interview about his new Freeform reality series, Wayne Brady: The Family Remix.

“I’ve been a fan of his since I was a child — of his imagination, of his love of life, of the spark that came into his eye whenever he created,” Brady told EW.

“It made me feel like I wanted to know what that feeling was like,” the actor and Let’s Make a Deal host said regarding his path to success in entertainment.

Brady reached success with multiple shows, including The Wayne Brady Show and Whose Line Is It Anyway?, which Williams appeared on in 2000.

Brady shared an emotional story with Williams

Brady recalled as a young child how he was “always in and out of the hospital” after being born prematurely.

“I had issues with my lungs and asthma and a lot of recurring surgeries that needed to happen, so for the first few years of my life, I was no stranger to the military hospital in Orlando,” he said.

“There was one time in particular where I had to stay a few days, and there’s nothing scarier for a child than being left alone without your parents in a hospital room when the lights go out,” Brady shared.

He said his grandmother gave him various items to comfort him, including an action figure of Williams’ alien character Mork in an egg-shaped spacecraft from the popular sitcom Mork & Mindy.

The two actors and comedians met several times before Williams’ guest appearance on Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Brady shared what Williams meant to him as a kid.

“Years later I got a chance to tell him that story and he started to cry and hug me and I hugged him back,” Brady said, adding, “That’s the cool thing about show business; sometimes you get a chance to meet your heroes.”

“I’m glad that I got a chance in those handful of times to really explain to him what he meant to me as a young actor and as a child,” he told EW.

Williams’ suicide was a pivotal moment in Brady’s path of self-discovery

In 2014, Robin Williams was found dead inside his home at age 63. His death was later ruled a suicide. The legendary actor and comedian had previously been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and experienced depression, anxiety, and paranoia.

Following Williams’ suicide, Brady had an important revelation to consider his mental health more.

“I had to start learning about myself, and I had to start owning up to things that maybe I’d either repressed, suppressed, or just didn’t wanna deal with,” he told People in 2023.

That ultimately was a significant part of what led to him coming out as pansexual, which he explained during his more recent EW interview.

“If someone who brought so much light and love could leave us and suffer in silence, then I didn’t want to suffer in silence anymore,” Brady said.

Brady hopes he and his family help assist others with self-discoveries through their new Freeform reality series.

“A huge mental component comes from the unhappiness and a searching. In sharing my truths, that helps me. By sharing this stuff, I was making myself feel better, and if that can make you feel better [too], then it’s a win all the way around,” he said.

Wayne Brady: The Family Remix premieres July 24 on Freeform at 10/9c.

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