Robin Williams' death mourned at South Beach hotel - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Robin Williams' death mourned at South Beach hotel

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MIAMI (WSVN) -- Fans are mourning the tragic death of Robin Williams at a South Florida hotel that served as the backdrop for one of Williams' most famous movies.

The Carlyle Hotel on South Beach was surrounded by fans of Williams, who starred in "The Birdcage," which was filmed at the famous hotel.

Williams, 63, died on Monday in what is suspected to be an apparent suicide due to asphyxia.

Fans were left in shock, and many shared stories about Williams at the Carlyle Monday night. "Many times, I mean every night, we get the question, 'Is this where they filmed 'The Birdcage,' and of course it is," said Damian Besil, the hotel's manager.

Robin Williams' name is spoken several times a day at the Carlyle, located on Ocean Drive and 13th Street, where fans reminisced about "The Birdcage." "And it was fun; people used to stand up across the street on the grass to watch what was going on," said Calvin Zook of Art Deco Tours.

The hotel was home to Williams' character and his partner's drag bar in the comedy, which was directed by Mike Nichols. Williams played the role of the less flamboyant half of the gay couple. Nathan Lane played his longtime partner.

"The Birdcage" is said to be of inspiration for the Palace Bar, a local drag bar. "That was something that inspired me to be who I am today," said Missy Meyakie Lepaige, a Palace Bar performer.

Williams had a global impact during his lifetime as well, making people from all cultures and countries come together in laughter. "I lived in Argentina at that moment and 10 years living here, but I say I wanna live like this guy. I don't wanna wear the hat, but I wanna have my husband and do, you know, whatever you want to do," said Havi Schanz, an artist, who was artistically inspired by the 1996 movie. Schanz painted a portrait of Williams as his "Birdcage" character that now adorns the Carlyle's front porch.

Fans sat on the front porch of the Carlyle Monday night, where many of them first learned of Williams' passing. "It is a shock because he entertained us for so many years," said Andrea Sullivan, a fan of Williams.

"Yeah, that's terrible news. I love Robin Williams. He always made me laugh," said Brandon Sullivan, another fan.

In 2009, Williams spent some time in South Florida. While in Florida, Williams suffered from shortness of breath and was treated at a local hospital before undergoing heart surgery.

Williams' death touched millions of people and was met with condolences from fans and celebrities on social media.

Williams left a profound and global legacy. "I loved his personality. He had a great personality," said Albert Ronquillo, who is visiting from Las Vegas.

"[He was] one comedian that, when I was little, was great," said Carmen Nieveen who is visiting from Holland.

"We consider him to be part of this hotel," said Besil, who believes that Williams' spirit will always be alive on South Beach at the Carlyle.

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