Before Billy Crystal stepped on stage at the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday to pay tribute to his friend Robin Williams, singer Sara Bareilles performed the song “Smile” as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences remembered the stars who died this year.
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“Smile” was originally an instrumental Charlie Chaplin composed for the 1936 film “Modern Times,” until lyricists John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added the words and title in 1954.
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After the music ended, Crystal took the stage to honor Williams, an Oscar-winning actor and comedian who committed suicide earlier this month.
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“He made us laugh, hard,” Crystal said. “I spent many happy hours with Robin onstage; the brilliance was astounding, the relentless energy was kind of thrilling. I used to think that if I could just put a saddle on him and stay on for eight seconds, I was gonna do OK.”