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SF names Golden Gate Park meadow after Robin Williams

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Comedian Billy Crystal, bottom right, pays tribute to the late Robin Williams during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles on August 25, 2014. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
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It’s no joke — a meadow in Golden Gate Park will soon bear the name of a beloved San Francisco comedian who died in the Bay Area in 2014, Robin Williams.

The Recreation and Park Department announced Monday the naming of Robin Williams Meadow after the legendary and beloved comedian whose longtime home, the Bay Area, was the setting in more than a half-dozen movies he starred in, including the 1993 classic “Mrs. Doubtfire.”

Williams’ close ties to the Bay Area were not only felt on screen. He first moved to the San Francisco area at 16 and got his early start as a standup comedian performing in clubs in The City before the TV series “Mork & Mindy” propelled his renowned TV and film career.

“Through his comedy, Robin Williams brought so much light into this world, which is why it is fitting that we are naming a beautiful outdoor meadow in his honor,” Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement.

“Robin was one of San Francisco’s cherished sons, whose selfless acts of philanthropy benefitted communities across our city,” the mayor said. “We will forever remember him fondly and the Robin Williams Meadow will be a lasting testament to his legacy.”

The meadow that will bear Williams’ name is located adjacent to the Sharon Building. Each year, San Francisco’s professional comedy community comes together for Comedy Day, a five-hour event in Golden Gate Park in which Williams has participated. This year’s Comedy Day, scheduled for Sunday, will take place in Robin Williams Meadow.

“Robin was a friend not only to me, but to Comedy Day and the entire city of San Francisco,” Debi Durst, producer and president of Comedy Day, said in a statement. “It was always magical whenever he appeared during Comedy Day; you could feel the excitement and the electricity coming from the audience as Robin danced upon the stage, wowing the hometown crowd with his hilarious antics.”

The Academy Award-winner died by suicide Aug. 11, 2014, at age 63.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional information.

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