Meet Crystal — The
Monkey Who Robin
Williams Spent Time
With Just Before He
It seems that all animals were touched by Robin Williams’ infectious charm and unwavering ability to make people smile.
Just ask Tom Gunderson— the late actor’s Night at the Museum costar, Crystal the Monkey’s, trainer—who has shared fond memories of the comedian’s final days with the primate.
“Happy birthday to me! A visit from one of my favorite leading ladies, Crystal,” Robin captured an Instagram shot of him and the monkey.
When celebrating on July 21, no one knew that would be his last birthday. And even though the 63-yearold looks gaunt—like a shadow of his once-cheery self—in the photo, Robin’s love for Crystal remained the same.
“As we were nearing the end of filming Night at the Museum 3, I mentioned Crystal and I would be doing a film project in the Bay Area in July, and he invited me to contact him,” Tom explained. “Robin generously made time to see us on his birthday.”
It didn’t come as a surprise to Tom that Robin made time to see Crystal on his birthday—since he always shared a special connection with her while filming.
“Robin was incredibly engaging with Crystal on all three movies,” he recalled.
“It is not often that an actor of his caliber engages an animal like that. He was always a very giving, kind and thoughtful person. He will forever be loved and missed. The world is a dimmer place without him.”
Crystal wasn’t the only primate touched by Robin’s kind heart.
The comedian had a special bond with Koko, a sign language-speaking gorilla who—instantly connected with Robin” after she first met the actor in 2001, her foster mom Penny Patterson explained.
When she learned of his death, “Koko became very somber, with her head bowed and her lip quivering,”