The Robin Williams Legacy of Laughter Award was established in honor of the late actor after his tragic death in 2014

By Eric Todisco
October 06, 2020 09:40 AM
Advertisement

Will Smith and his family are being honored by Robin Williams' children for their "longstanding contributions to the world."

Williams' three children, Zelda, Cody, and Zak, present the Robin Williams Legacy of Laughter Award every year through Bring Change to Mind, a non-profit founded by Glenn Close, which aims to end the stigma surrounding mental illness. The award was established in honor of Williams after the late actor died in 2014.

This year, the Williams family decided to grant the award to the Smiths: Will, 52, his wife Jada, 49, his son Trey, 27, and the couple's daughter Willow, 19, and son Jaden, 22.

In a YouTube video shared by Will on Monday, the actor accepted the award virtually alongside his family. Jaden joined them via FaceTime as he was awaiting COVID-19 test results.

Smith family

"This year, we wanted to honor the entire Smith family, as individuals and as a whole, for their longstanding contributions to the world," Zak, 37, said in the video. "You've held groundbreaking, open discussions about important topics like family, career, and mental health in a world that often expects silence from its most visible citizens."

"Your charitable acts are many and varied, from feeding the homeless, helping inner-city youth programs, fighting AIDS in South Africa, and bringing safe water to those who need it most," Zak added of the Smiths. "And while doing all that, you still manage to entertain millions with your talents through your films, through your talk show, through music, laughter, and your clear and vibrant family bond."

"From one genie family to another, thanks for sharing your phenomenal cosmic powers with the world," Zak said, referring to both his father and Will playing the Genie in the Aladdin films.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith
| Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty; Inset: Vera Anderson/WireImage

Will and his family proudly accepted the award and spoke about what the honor means to them in an Instagram video he shared Monday.

"There's been a lot of laughter in this house because of Robin Williams," he said as the family reflected on Williams' most iconic acting roles including Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, Flubber, and Mork & Mindy.

"That's crazy that he's impacted our lives generationally. All of us have been impacted by Robin," said Jada.

"Robin Williams was an absolute master at human connection," Will said. "He wanted you to laugh. It's almost like he needed you to laugh and however brief the moment was, he was always scanning for what is the interaction that the two of you could have that would be memorable and magical."

Williams died by suicide on Aug. 11, 2014, at age 63 after suffering from Lewy Body Dementia, a type of brain disease that affects thinking, memory, and movement control.

In August, both Zelda and Zak shared heartfelt tributes on Instagram to mark the six-year-anniversary of their dad's tragic death.