To Reeve, “Robin wasn’t just a friend, he was truly a brother,” Reeve’s son Will tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story.
In rare comments, Will, 22, also shared a cherished memory of Williams, who died at age 63 in August.
Shortly after the 1992 horseback riding accident that left his father paralyzed, “he tried to lighten the load by offering to put me in bed for my afternoon nap,” Will recalls of the late comedian.
“I, 4 years old, was unmoved and refused. He kept pitching himself, first as Mork, then as Peter Pan, then as Genie, but always, unfailingly, as Robin, the sweet, gentle man who loved my father and his family so fiercely that he would do anything to make them happy.”
• Reporting by SHARON COTLIAR
For much more on Robin Williams’s legacy – along with remembrances from the cast of one of his last films, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb – pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday