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Wednesday 1 October 2014

Robin Williams turned himself into Mrs Doubtfire in Dublin garden to thank Irish family

By Alan O'Keeffe

Published 13/08/2014 | 07:41

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Philip Kearney (left) with Cody and Zelda Williams
Philip Kearney (left) with Cody and Zelda Williams
Philip Kearney (left) with Cody and Zelda Williams

Robin Williams thrilled an Irish family when he turned himself into Mrs Doubtfire in a back garden in Dublin.

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"It was surreal. I could hardly believe it," said Monica Kearney.

The US comedy star wanted to thank her personally for allowing his children to play with her children during a holiday in Ireland.

Mrs Kearney said she was deeply saddened by the actor's death as she recalled happy memories of the day he charmed her family.

Mrs Doubtfire
Mrs Doubtfire

She told the Herald her next-door neighbour's daughter in Clontarf worked as an au pair for the Williams family in the US.

In the early 1990s, the star, his wife and children were holidaying in Ireland. One day, the young Irish au pair brought the couple's daughter Zelda and son Cody to her parents' home. The two children could see Monica's children Stephen and Philip playing with cousins Shane and Emer O'Connor in the Kearney family's back garden.

The au pair told Monica that Zelda and Cody were bored and asked if they could come and play.

"They came and played in the garden. They were really lovely, well-mannered children. They had a great time playing for the day. I remember them telling us they were not allowed to play some computer games and that they were not allowed to watch The Simpsons.

"Zelda was a beautiful little girl and she was so nice," said Monica.

The following year, Robin Williams was visiting the au pair's family next door when he decided to thank Monica personally for being so kind to his children.

Monica was sitting with her mother Kathleen Burgess and other family members in her back garden when they were surprised to see Robin Williams put his head over the neighbour's garden wall.

"We got such a shock. He shook hands and thanked me for allowing his kids over to play the previous year and said the children had been talking a lot about how they had such a wonderful time playing with our children.

"When he noticed my mother was wearing a kilt he put on his Mrs Doubtfire accent and said, 'I see the wee lady's in a kilt'," said Mrs Kearney.

"It was great. He stayed doing the Mrs Doubtfire character for a while. He was chatting for around 15 minutes. He was a real gentleman although he was smaller than I thought."

Click here for tributes, stories, photos, videos, and some of Robin Williams' best moments

aokeeffe@herald.ie

Evening Herald

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