Comedian shows Gene Shalit in a 1993 interview how he settled on making the iconic character a soft-spoken old woman from Scotland
“Mrs. Doubtfire” will cook and clean again at some point in the future, so NBC's “Today” celebrated “Throwback Thursday” by showing viewers a vintage interview with Robin Williams explaining how he created the iconic character.
The comedian cracked up former “Today” critic Gene Shalit in 1993 while explaining that the prosthetic makeup he wore informed the character, which continued evolving with the elaborate costume.
At one point, Williams was inspired by “Wizard of Oz” star Margaret Hamilton's Wicked Witch, until a fake chin led him toward U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. But once he saw the costume in full, he was reminded of cooking show host Julia Child, and with some gentle tweaks on her vocal delivery, Euphegenia Doubtfire was born.
Fox 2000 lured Williams and director Chris Columbus back for an untitled sequel with a script from “Elf” writer David Berenbaum.
“Mrs. Doubtfire,” a 1993 comedy about a recently divorced dad desperate enough to pretend to be a Scottish nanny in order to spend more time with his kids, grossed $441 million worldwide.