Real 'Good Morning Vietnam' Airman Shares Memories Of Robin Williams (Video)
Retired airman Adrian Cronauer said he was "gobsmacked” upon learning of Robin Williams' death on Monday.
Williams portrayed Cronauer in the 1987 film "Good Morning Vietnam." According to Smithsonian.com, the movie was loosely based on Cronauer's experience hosting the radio program “Dawn Buster” in Saigon for Armed Forces Radio from 1965 to 1966.
Cronauer told the Military Times he was "gobsmacked" to learn of Williams' passing at such a young age:
"It just hit me. The guy was only 63 years old. I suppose for someone who’s 20, that seems like he’s older than Methuselah, but for me in my 70s, I think that’s still a young age and he should have had a lot more to do."
The Roanoke Times interviewed Cronauer about what it was like to spend time with Williams, which happened only after "Good Morning Vietnam" had wrapped; director Barry Levinson didn't want Cronauer to influence Williams' performance:
The two met after the making of the film, and later, in 1991, when Cronauer attended a birthday party for Williams with nearly 300 of his celebrity friends. Cronauer said that Williams “was always on,” doing a routine when anyone approached him.
“The only time we ever saw him let his guard down was when he was playing with his little kids,” Cronauer said.
Courtesy of YouTube, here's a compilation of what some consider to be the funniest scenes in "Good Morning Vietnam":