Bay Area fans honor Robin Williams with standing ovation

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Monday, August 18, 2014
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In the Bay Area Monday, fans of Robin Williams took a break for just a moment to honor the actor in a special way.

SAN FRANCISCO (KABC) -- In the Bay Area Monday, fans of Robin Williams took a break for just a moment to honor the actor in a special way.

Monday marks the one-week anniversary of Williams' death. His passing struck a chord with a fan named Kathy Schartzle. She wanted to do something to say goodbye, so she helped give him the send-off she believes he deserved: a standing ovation.

San Francisco's Union Square became a gathering spot Monday afternoon for fans of Robin Williams.

Authorities believe he committed suicide one week ago as he battled depression and the early stages of Parkinson's disease.

For the joy he brought audiences, one of his fans thought it would be a good idea to give Williams a standing ovation at 1 p.m. So she started a campaign on Facebook: No matter your location, stand and cheer for him with one last curtain call.

"It was our way of saying goodbye," said Schwartzle. "And clapping, I think, is the best way of doing it and celebrating and doing it in a happy way."

"We actually came down here with the idea with was just going to be her and I and her mom and her daughter, and it grew into a big thing," said fan Norm Quiros.

At Union Square, more than a hundred people showed up to stand up for Williams.

"I found out about this on Facebook," said Bryan Chavez. "I love Robin Williams' movies. I thought it was a tragedy of what happened to him last week and so I just wanted to come down here to celebrate his life by just giving him one-minute standing ovation."

"He was an amazing humanitarian, great actor and I think he brought to light that depression isn't just a sign of weakness, but an actual illness," said Schwartzle.

A smaller group of fans gathered at the "Mrs. Doubtfire" house in San Francisco, where a flower-filled memorial continues to grow.

The fans there also stood and cheered and applauded a man they admired: An Oscar-winning actor and comedian who made them laugh long before he made them cry with the shocking news he was gone.

One of Monday's fans said this idea was a social experiment, one that turned out pretty well.