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Williams: tribute paid by Madam Doubtfire author

1 of 1 Anne Fine
Anne Fine

"It's such a tragedy that someone who lifted other people's spirits so successfully, and gave so much pleasure, should lose his own hopes in the way Williams clearly did," declares Anne Fine, author of the book on which Mrs Doubtfire was based.

"I owe the man the most tremendous debt," says Anne Fine, speaking to the Guardian. “Because of Mrs Doubtfire's success, my novel – and plenty of others I've written – can now be read in more than 40 languages. The film paid off my mortgage, and gave me the freedom to write what I want at my own speed."

Fine recalled being asked to join the late actor on Michael Parkinson's chat show, but due to a prior commitment she was  unable to be present.  

"But I reached home in time to watch the programme. There Williams sat, so wired with energy he'd almost levitated from the sofa... If I'd been there, I would have sat like a stuffed pudding, saying nothing, idiotic with laughter."

Anne Fine's novel, Madam Doubtfire, is published by Puffin.

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