Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 | 7 p.m.
I worked with Robin Williams on several occasions.
One time, the two of us were teamed with Bette Midler and Christina Aguilera at the 80th birthday party of 84 Lumber Co. multimillionaire Joe Hardy at his Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania.
Robin was as funny offstage as he was onstage or clowning around for the cameras. Robin was found dead today at his Marin County, Calif., apartment in an apparent suicide; he was 63.
We have lost an incredibly talented star. But, as with many comedians, behind the laughter and the smile, he battled the pain of self-doubt, his flaws and disbelief of his abilities. He was candid about his addictions and failings, true or perceived.
Robin was often here in Las Vegas — with fellow comic Eric Idle at Steve Wynn’s rebirth of Monty Python at Wynn Las Vegas. He was here for the HBO Comedy Festivals in a celebrity event with Billy Crystal. And he attended and supported Andre Agassi’s annual Grand Slam for Children education fundraisers.
Robin, who won an Oscar for his dramatic role in “Good Will Hunting,” told me that he often stayed at MGM Grand so that he could rent a bicycle to go out very early in the morning for rides up to Red Rock at sunrise.
Robin was a supporter of our Larry Ruvo’s Keep Memory Alive charity and always permitted us use to auction his appearances with celebrity chef dinners at Larry’s Shakespeare Ranch in Lake Tahoe. His most recent support was at a Keep Memory Alive Barbecue in July 2013.
Robin will be genuinely missed. He was an incredibly funny comedic talent and a wonderfully kind person — sadly plagued by personal demons of depression that proved too difficult to battle.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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MGM Grand, a AAA Four Diamond resort, offers 5,044 rooms and suites.
MGM Grand features KÀ by Cirque du Soleil; Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club; and world-class entertainment at the Grand Garden Arena and Hollywood Theatre.
The resort offers signature restaurants by celebrity chefs including Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish House, Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill and Michelin three star and Forbes Five Star restaurant, Joël Robuchon.
As part of its ongoing “Grand Renovation,” MGM Grand has remodeled all rooms and suites in its main tower and is adding several new experiences to its lineup including Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub, a new upscale dining/nightlife concept (coming in April 2013).
MGM Grand also features a state-of-the-art, non-smoking conference center, the Grand Spa, Cristophe Salon, "CSI: The Experience" and an inviting pool complex featuring the tantalizing daylife of Wet Republic.
Upscale accommodations include The Mansion, an exclusive hotel within the hotel; the luxurious two-story SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand; and The Signature at MGM Grand, a luxury all-suite, non-gaming hotel located adjacent to the main resort.