Robin Williams Doing Well, Says Friend

The comic actor won't be sidelined by heart surgery, Garry Marshall tells PEOPLE

Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty

It’s going to take more than heart surgery to put the brakes on the unstoppable Robin Williams.

That, at least, is the opinion of one old friend, Hollywood veteran Garry Marshall, who wrote, produced and directed Mork and Mindy, the 1970s TV show that put Williams, who played an alien from the planet Ork, on the map.

“I hear very good reports,” says Marshall, who contacted Williams, 57, when the actor announced he would undergo aortic valve replacement surgery after canceling shows and checking into a Florida hospital earlier this month.

“I heard about what happened and I texted his guys,” Marshall said at the premiere of his latest project Race to Witch Mountain, the Disney action movie starring Dwayne Johnson. Marshall, 74, has an acting part in movie, playing a doctor.

The news of William’s health scare came as a total surprise, says Marshall. “I was very shocked by that because he works so energetic. But he’s a young man. I think sometimes God says ‘slow down!’ and [Williams] will heal and he’ll be fine, really.”

“He’s one of a kind, Robin. He’s one of a kind,” said Marshall.

Marshall is pretty singular himself: an actor, director, producer and writer still working in his seventies. “I got to be honest with you,” he said, “I don’t fish, so what am I going to [do]? Go take a fishing pole and sit there? Not for me. So I keep working.”

A stage version of another of Marshall’s hit TV shows, Happy Days – where Williams first appeared as the character Mork before getting his own spin-off – is currently touring the country.

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