Photographer Photographs Two Mimes in 1974, Only Realizes 35 Years Later that One Was Robin Williams

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Robin Williams tragic death has left the entire world in shock, grieving for a man whose entire professional life was dedicated to bringing joy to others. Many are taking time now to pay tribute to the academy award-winning actor and comedian, and as clips and stories from decades long gone surface, some incredible stories have come to light.

One such story involves photographer Daniel Sorine, who in 1974 thought he was just photographing two random mimes in Central Park, only to discover 35 years later that he had captured a then little-known Robin Williams on film.

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“Back in the 1970’s I was a young photographer, short of funds, and not able to afford a studio or adventurous treks around the globe in search of the perfect image,” he told us over email. “Therefore, the streets of New York City became my studio as well as the studio for many other aspiring photographers.”

On weekends, Sorine describes Central Park as “a photographers paradise thanks to an unlimited amount of live performers showcasing their various talents,” and one day in 1974, he was attracted to a pair of mimes that were doing just that.

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“What attracted me to Robin Williams and his fellow mime, Todd Oppenheimer, was an unusual amount of intensity, personality and physical fluidity,” Sorine tells us. “When I approached them with my Pentax Spotmatic they allowed me to invite them into my camera instead of me having to chase after them.”

And for 35 years, those photos were simply a reminder of a cool experience in his early years. It wasn’t until a few years ago that Sorine dug the photos and negatives out of one of his suitcases and realized who it was he had captured on camera.

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Unbeknownst to him, he says, “I had captured a wonderful moment in history.” A moment all that much more dear now that we’ve lost the incredible talent that Williams was only just beginning to explore.

Image credits: Photographs by Daniel Sorine and used with permission

  • geekfilter

    Nope – if you go to Flickr and search for the photographer’s name you’ll see one of the photos he posted on 2010.

  • Saros7

    Nice pics, too bad social media already exited during 2009, but no mention of these back then, is confusing.

  • G Warner

    Lunacy. All the arguments, about who did or didn’t do something or say something 35 or 30 years days or minutes ago. The point is pictures were taken more then a generation ago. And they are made public for the first time or the 20th time. They are new to someone. I never saw them before that I recall. Just be thankful they were given a broader audience. Right click, save as… or make desktop background. And mourn the loss of a comic genius.