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'Aladdin' Stars Past and Present Pay Tribute to Robin Williams

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Broadway theaters dimmed their marquee lights on Wednesday to honor fallen star Robin Williams, but on Tuesday night his memory brightened up the room at the Disney musical "Aladdin" when the cast and audience paid tribute to him.

Williams voiced the role of Genie in the 1992 animated movie version. The current Genie featured in the Broadway show, James Monroe Iglehart, told the audience that Williams' performance in the film inspired him.

"And then he began to do movie, after movie, after movie, and I watched them all,” Iglehart said of Williams. “And when I was 17 years old, I had watched every Disney cartoon in the world. And they had put him in this Disney cartoon to play this iconic role of the Genie, and he sang this song and I looked at my mom and said ‘if I could just do something like that.’”

Iglehart then performed the aforementioned song "Friend Like Me" with the help of the audience. 

Williams' costars from the film version of the Disney classic also paid tribute to their former castmate.

Scott Weinger, who played Aladdin in the film, said Wednesday that working with his hero was surreal and magical, adding the world has "lost a bright light."

Weinger described himself as a lifelong Willams fan who had a "Mork" doll as a kid and a poster of "Dead Poets Society" on his wall as an emerging actor. Working with his hero was surreal and magical, he said.

Linda Larkin, who voiced Princess Jasmine in the movie, called Williams a "wild, soulful, boundless spirit," characterizing his Genie character from the movie as "the best gift ever."

Williams, who died of an apparent suicide in his San Francisco Bay Area home this week, had been on Broadway several times, most recently as a restless tiger ghost in 2011 in "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo."

With reports from the Associated Press.

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