Will Smith and family receive award from Robin Williams' children

Zachary Williams, son of the late Hollywood legend, said he was honored to present to the Smiths the Robin Williams Legacy of Laughter Award, "from one genie family to another."
/ Source: TODAY

Will Smith and his family have been honored by Robin Williams’ children for the joy that they bring to the world.

The Hollywood star, along with his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and children Jaden, Willow and Trey, have received the Robin Williams Legacy of Laughter Award.

Williams’ children have honored someone each year since their father’s death in 2014, with Zachary Williams teaming up with Bring Change to Mind, a nonprofit group co-founded by Glenn Close that aims to destigmatize mental illness.

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“Thanks to Bring Change to Mind, every year my siblings and I get to present the Legacy of Laughter Award to an individual in entertainment we feel embodies the best sparks of Dad still living and bringing joy,” Zachary said in a video that shows the Smith family accepting the honor.

Zachary's mother is Williams' first wife, Valerie Velardi. The comedian had two other kids, Zelda and Cody, with his second wife, Marsha Garces.

“As a family that gets asked about the word ‘legacy’ a lot, we decided that this year we’d like to honor one that was being built with kindness, unity and love right in front of us. This year we wanted to honor the entire Smith family as individuals and as a whole for their long-standing and continued contributions to the world.”

Zachary pointed out that the Smiths are focused on doing good.

“You’ve held groundbreaking open discussions on topics like family, career and mental health in a world that often expects silence from its most visible citizens,” he said. “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.”

He then cited a role that Williams and Smith shared.

“From one genie family to another, thanks for sharing your phenomenal cosmic powers with the world,” Zachary said, nodding to Williams voicing the genie in the 1992 animated movie “Aladdin,” while Smith took on the role in the 2019 remake.

“From one genie family to another, it’s one of the great joys for us as a family and a FaceTime to accept the Robin Williams Legacy of Laughter Award (for) using laughter as a force for good as a family,” Smith said while accepting the award.

“Robin Williams was an absolute master of human connection. There’s really nothing like laughing with someone. When you get a joke with someone, it is the fastest freeway out of being strangers.”

Pinkett Smith added, “You could tell that he loved people because his comedy was always based around joy.”

The family also named their favorite Williams comedies, with a far-ranging list that stretched from “Flubber” and “Mrs. Doubtfire,” to “Jumanji” and “Mork & Mindy.”

“He wanted you to laugh,” Smith added. “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.”