Cornwall man, just a teen at the time, says chance meeting with Robin Williams left a mark

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Robin Williams

CORNWALL, Ontario - A Cornwall man said this week a chance meeting with comedy legend Robin Williams, who died Monday, years ago continues to leave a mark to this day.

Marc Bray was still an adolescent in 1990 when the family was vacationing at a Disney resort in Florida when, while riding an elevator to pass the time while waiting for their parents, he and his sister shared some time with Williams – just a few minutes neither of them will forget.

"The second or third morning that we were there, my sister and I decided to just stand in the elevator and wait for it to go up and down by itself just to look at the lobby down below while we waited for our parents to finish getting themselves ready," he said, adding the elevator had glass walls that provided a view of the massive facility.

Bray and his sister rode the elevator all the way to the penthouse, likely because Williams had called for the car not knowing a couple of Cornwall stowaways were aboard.

"When the doors opened, Robin Williams walked in, looked at us, smiled and said hello ...and turned back around," said Bray. "Having recognized him right away I said out loud 'You're Robin Williams.' He turned around looked at me in my Mouseketeer hat and said 'I know.'"

That routine continued for a while before Bray's sister blurted out: "'Who is Robin Williams!?"

With that, Bray said the Hollywood funnyman melted.

"He laughed, turned around and asked for our names and what we were doing and where we were from," said Bray. "He grabbed my Mouseketeer hat off my head, put it on his and made a couple of funny voices and put it back.

"By that time the lobby doors opened and he just walked out like any other guest in the hotel room being greeted by the front desk reception with a 'Good morning Mr. Williams' and just walked out of the hotel like some regular guy."

Bray said the encounter, which barely lasted a few minutes, resonates today.

"I've always loved Robin Williams - such a talented actor and gifted comedian," he said. "It was just one of those rare one-on-one type meetings where I saw the human side. He was just a regular guy, no Hollywood entourage, no flashing cameras or paparazzi, but totally cool none the less."

Geographic location: Cornwall, Ontario, Florida Hollywood

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