Actor Who Played Rufio in ‘Hook’ Pens Loving Tribute to Robin Williams

The late actor’s one-time co-star Dante Basco remembers their time together fondly

Robin Williams Dante Basco Hook rufio
Sony Pictures

Dante Basco grew up watching Robin Williams movies — and then got to act alongside him. Two decades later, he is mourning Williams’ loss, following the Oscar-winner’s death on Monday.

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“Hook,” the 1991 fairytale update directed by Steven Spielberg, may not have ended up as one of Williams’ most successful films, but for a generation of kids, it was one of his most iconic. As the grown-up Peter Pan forced back to Neverland, while Basco played Rufio, the Lost Boy who took over as the leader of the ragtag group of forever-kids once Pan left the island of dreams. They became close, for a time, as Basco wrote on his Tumblr late Monday.

Also read: Steven Spielberg, Chris Columbus, Bill Cosby React to Robin Williams’ Shocking Death

Williams taught millions of children that youth must not be wasted, but that there are also great joys in adulthood, too. That message was not lost on Basco, who, despite not having kept up with Williams personally in recent years, fondly remembered his time with the legend.

An excerpt of his note is below; the full text can be found here:

I was lucky to work with him as an actor and witness first hand the magic of what made him a legend, the wit and other worldly improv skills. As well as see him single handedly put the morale of a movie set, easily hundreds of people, on his shoulders and kept everyone laughing as they worked long hours for what seemed like months on end. And at the same time, I was fortunate to spend private times, many mornings in the makeup chair, (which with my tri-hawk hair took hours), just talking about poetry… And soft spoken and introspectively we would discuss Walt Whitman and Charles Bukowski.

With “Hook” and so many other films, I, like millions of others became a fan and was always delightfully surprised by the performances he managed to produce, but with his passing, I can’t help to feel, along with my generation… I can’t help feeling like it’s the death of my childhood. I guess we can’t stay in Neverland forever, we must all grown up.

But I just want to bid a sorrowful farewell to one of the greatest I’ve been able to work with and be around and I’ll always remember my time with you as some of the greatest moments in my life… and just like the rest of the world, I’ll remember you with joy and laughter.