My favorite RPG-playing celebrity is also the one I first found out was a roleplayer: Robin Williams. I remember rumors of his gamer status at least as far back as the mid-‘80s, along with a handful of other celebrities whom I have since forgotten.
I grew up with Mork & Mindy, and have been a huge fan of Robin Williams ever since. I think I’ve seen—and loved—everything he’s done (yes, even Popeye and The World According to Garp). And when I first heard about this was at the 2nd peak of his popularity (around the time of Dead Poet’s Society), so the idea that I had something in common with someone so inestimably cool was, well, cool!
He hasn’t, as far as I know, championed RPGs the way that some younger actors—most notably Vin Diesel—have, but I wasn’t looking for a spokesperson. I luckily grew up in a place where D&D wasn’t persecuted, just, at worst, misunderstood. We played at Boy Scout camp, we could play on the bus on a school trip with no one really caring, and we talked about it at school without anyone (teachers or students) interfering.
But I always imagined what it would be like having him run a game—imagine the manic creativity of Mork & Mindy combined with the emotional depths of Good Will Hunting. In writing this, I discovered that he participated in Worldwide Dungeons & Dragons Game Day 2006. Time to see if there’s any video of that.