• US actor Robin Williams outside the Vanity Fair Party during the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival (AAP)
The Emmy Awards have paid a heartfelt and somber tribute to the late Robin Williams, whose friend and fellow actor-comic Billy Crystal called "the brightest star in the comedy galaxy."
26 Aug 2014 - 1:09 PM  UPDATED 26 Aug 2014 - 6:04 PM


At the 66th Emmy Awards ceremony, clips of Williams in films, on stage and in talk shows were shown, finishing off with a portrait of him, followed by a stony silence in the blacked-out auditorium.

Dressed in a dark suit and stood against a poignant black background, Crystal recalled their life and times together.  

"He made us laugh," he said.

"I spent many happy hours onstage with Robin. His brilliance was stunning, the relentless energy breathtaking. I felt like if I could throw a saddle on him and stay on for eight seconds I was doing great."

He told tales of happy times with Williams, who died on August 11, aged 63, of a suspected suicide.

Crystal recalled a conversation the star duo had about baseball.

"He could be funny anywhere," said Crystal, who cut a serious but calm figure, and described Williams as "a genius," as well as "the greatest friend you could ever imagine."

"Supportive, protective, loving. It's very hard to talk about him in the past because he was so present in our lives. For almost 40 years, he was the brightest star in the comedy galaxy.

"But while some of the brightest of celestial bodies are actually extinct, their molten energy long since cooled, miraculously, because they float in the heavens so far away from us now, their beautiful light will shine on us forever.

"And the glow will be so bright, it will warm your heart and make your eyes glisten, and you'll think to yourselves, Robin williams. What a concept."