Retired UNC professor remembers time on set with Robin Williams - WNCN: News, Weather

Retired UNC professor remembers time on set with Robin Williams

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Stephen Weiss was an extra on the set of "Patch Adams." Stephen Weiss was an extra on the set of "Patch Adams."
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

Many people may have forgotten but one of Robin Williams most successful films was shot in the Triangle at UNC-Chapel Hill.

"Patch Adams" depicted Williams as the eccentric medical student who was determined to treat patients through laughter rather than conventional medicine; much to the dismay of his professors.

Many of the extras in the film were students and professors from the UNC campus.

One of those people was Professor Emeritus of Computer Science Stephen Weiss.

Weiss retired from teaching in 2010 after 40 years.

Weiss said when he got word the movie was being filmed at UNC and they needed professors he thought he'd be a perfect fit.

He sent in a picture and suit size and the next thing he knew he was on the set inside Gerrard Hall with Robin Williams.

"When we were actually doing the shooting and we were there he (Williams) would basically do stand up comedy on whatever we asked him to. He would say ask me something and we'd say ‘The Middle East War.' He would start and would just be hilarious," said Weiss.

Weiss said he spent many hours on the set and was paid minimum wage for the several days of shooting.

He never said anything on camera but he did nod his head in a disgusted manor when Robin Williams' character told the professors he was practicing medicine without a license.

Weiss said he was shocked when he heard the news about Williams' death.

Weiss said Williams was a true genius and he will always remember his time fondly on the set.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

 

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