The 38-year-old actor and comedian sat down on Sunday Today with Willie Geist for an in-depth interview and recalled a time when he and the late Williams — who Gad says is one of his idols — were neighbors in the same apartment building during their time on Broadway.
“Robin Williams lived in my apartment building at the time I was doing [The Book of] Mormon and he was doing Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,” Gad recalled. “And we would come home from work and Robin would just literally make me laugh and cry every night with an anecdote about the show and the day.”
“We would basically show up into the lobby every night at the same time, and we would just talk in the lobby,” he added.
Their friendship evolved and when Williams finally decided to move out of the building, he offered Gad a parting gift.
“And then, when he left, he left me his bike. And I didn’t accept it. I was like, ‘Robin, look at my body. You’re wasting a bicycle on me. I’m gonna stare at it. I’m never gonna do anything,'” the Frozen star laughed to Geist. “And it really was one of the great regrets of my life, that I didn’t keep that bicycle from Robin Williams.”
Williams died by suicide at the age of 63 in August 2014 after suffering from Lewy Body Dementia, a type of brain disease that affected his thinking, memory and movement control. It’s the second-most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease.
The actor, who starred in popular films like the 1993 comedy Mrs. Doubtfire and 1995’s Jumanji, is often remembered by his three children and his friends, who have all awed over his ability to spread joy to so many.
“He could not help but be funny all the time,” Ben Stiller, who starred with Williams in the Night at the Museum films told PEOPLE last year for the commemorative issue, Robin Williams: Celebrating the Life & Career of a Comedy Icon, honoring the fifth anniversary of his death.
Tune into Sunday Today with Willie Geist on Jan. 26 and listen to the full unedited conversation on the Sunday Sitdown podcast.