Lisa Jakub was just 15 when Robin Williams‘ comedy Mrs. Doubtfire hit theaters in 1993. And 30 years later, as the movie celebrates its landmark anniversary, the actress who played his elder daughter, Lydia, is speaking out about how the late actor affected her decision to work as an author, speaker, and mental health activist. “I have struggled with anxiety and depression my entire life and Robin was very open with me with what he struggled with, and that’s a big reason why I do what I do today,’” she told David Campbell and Belinda Russell during a Friday, February 10 interview on Today Extra. The iconic comedian died by suicide in 2014.
Lisa continued, explaining what her current career is. “I work in the space of mental wellness and I help other people who are struggling with trauma, depression, anxiety and panic, and it is rooted in the fact that he was so open with me and was one of the first people that showed me that I didn’t have to do this alone,’” she said.
The film was obviously a milestone in the young actress’s life. Along with Robin, she appeared with Sally Field, now 76, Pierce Brosnan, 69, and fellow child actors Mara Wilson and Matthew Lawrence. Lisa parlayed her success in the 1993 film into another featured role as Alicia in Independence Day with Will Smith in 1996. There were also appearances in The Beautician and The Beast, A Walk On The Moon, and Picture Perfect, among others.
But the movie that really defined her early career as an actor remains “special” to her. “The cast members, we bonded so instantly,” Lisa said of Mrs. Doubtfire. “Matt and Mara felt like siblings from the beginning, and Robin and Sally were so amazing to us, so it did feel special at the time. Maybe that’s why 30 years later we are still talking about it. It is shocking to me that people still watch it and relate to it and all I can credit it to was Robin. He was hilarious and timeless, and I think the credit goes to him.”
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