Nathan Lane and Robin Williams
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Nathan Lane on Robin Williams: "[He] Made Me Laugh So Hard and So Long That I Cried"

Aug 12, 2014

Updated at 9:25 PM EST to include complete statement.

Nathan Lane and Robin Williams made comedy history when they co-starred in the 1996 film The Birdcage, the hit film version of the much-adapted French play La Cage aux Folles. They played domestic partners, Williams as the owner as a drag club and Lane as its histrionic star.

In a statement to TIME, Lane remembers his friend and colleague, who died Aug. 11 at the age of 63:

One day in 1995 while riffing in the character of a snobby French toy store owner, Robin made me laugh so hard and so long that I cried. It seemed to please him to no end. Yesterday I cried again at the thought that he was gone. What I will always remember about Robin, perhaps even more than his comic genius, extraordinary talent, and astounding intellect, was his huge heart — his tremendous kindness, generosity, and compassion as an acting partner, colleague, and fellow traveler in a difficult world. My heartfelt condolences to his wife and family.

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