Nathan Lane Reveals Robin Williams Protected Him From Being Outed On Oprah

Nathan Lane has opened up about a heartwarming moment with the late comedian Robin Williams, when he protected him from being outed on TV.

Now, Robin Williams is known for being the greatest comedian of all time. He’s played several starring roles and inspired the lives of many with his energetic and upbeat personality.

The actor and comedian was best known for his quick wit and immaculate improvisational skills. And throughout his career on stage and on the big screen, he displayed just how versatile he was as a performer.

Williams began his career in the ’70s, performing as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

After gaining traction and experience, he got his first big break playing Mork the alien in Mork & Mindy from 1978 to 1982. This catapulted Williams into the spotlight, and his fan base began to grow, with him getting his first ever leading role in Popeye in 1980. 

That was only the beginning for the star, and Williams went on to appear in several critically acclaimed movies. Most famously, Good Morning, Vietnam, in 1987, and 1989’s Dead Poets Society.

Already, there are 2 classics that people demand be on everybody’s watch list. He was also the unofficial king of family movies. Mrs. Doubtfire and Jumanji stand out as huge favorites for fans.

His skill on screen was recognized when he was nominated for 4 Academy Awards for Good Will Hunting, for which he won Best Supporting Actor. And his accolades don’t stop there, he also received 2 Primetime Emmy Awards, 6 Golden Globe Awards, 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards, and 5 Grammy Awards.

But the road to the top wasn’t easy for Williams. Sadly, we only found out about his mental health battles after his tragic death. He often put on a smile, although we know now that he was masking a lot of pain in his later years, something which only his close family knew about.

During an interview with Good Morning America, his wife, Susan Schneider opened up about the real reason: “It was not depression that killed Robin. Depression was one of, let’s call it, fifty symptoms, and it was a small one.”

During the interview, she broke the news that Williams, in fact, had Lewie Body Dementia.

He was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease which, alongside Dementia, made it harder for Williams to cope.

“He was keeping it together as best as he could,” said Schneider, “But the last month, he could not. It was like the dam broke.”

And now, almost a decade after his death, Nathan Lane has opened up about a heartwarming moment he shared with the star, explaining that Williams protected him during an interview from being outed.

When Lane made an appearance on “Sunday Today,” he talked about the blockbuster comedy The Birdcage in which he and Robin Williams played a Miami homosexual couple who become stuck when their son reveals his intention to wed the daughter of a staunchly conservative politician.

Lane shared that he had opened up about his sexuality to his family, but feared that if he announced to the world that he was gay, he would be ostracized. 

And it turns out that Williams stepped in to avoid Lane being outed when they appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show to promote the film.

“I finally got a big part in a movie, and I didn’t want to make it about my sexuality, although it was sort of unavoidable because of the nature of the film and the character,” he recalled. “I don’t think Oprah was trying to out me, but I said to Robin beforehand: ‘I’m not prepared. I’m so scared of going out there and talking to Oprah. I’m not prepared to discuss that I’m gay on national television. I’m not ready.’ He said: ‘Oh, it’s alright, don’t worry about — we don’t have to talk about it. We won’t talk about it.’”

During the interview, as the conversation began to veer towards that question, ​​Lane shared that “Robin sort of swoops in, and diverts Oprah and goes off on a tangent and protects me, because he was a saint,” Lane said. “I was terrified … It’s great that everyone now feels comfortable, but homophobia is alive and well and there are plenty of gay people who are still hiding.”

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