Episcopalian, Honorary Jew

Adherents reports that Robin Williams was an Episcopalian, and he joked that his mother was a “Christian Dior Scientist.” Adherents also quotes from a biography by Andy Dougan, published by Thunder’s Mouth Press in 1998:

Perhaps as a defense against the bullying of his WASP classmates, Williams found himself gravitating towards the Jewish boys at the school. They were obvious targets of discrimination because of their background and that perhaps provided some common ground between them. Most of his school friends were Jewish and they proved to be much more accepting of Williams than the other classmates had been. Williams says, with some pride, that as an “honorary Jew” he went to 14 bar mitzvahs in a single year. His new friends also provided him with a working knowledge of Yiddish which survives now in the words and phrases that sprinkle his conversations and his stage act.

As I reported in 2004, the “Top 10 Reasons to be Episcopalian” routine frequently attributed to Williams is apocryphal. May he rest in peace.

Douglas LeBlanc


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