In 1974, a Photographer Took Pictures of Two Mimes. 35 Years Later, He Was Shocked to Discover Who They Were

Photographer Daniel Sorine is an established photographer whose work has been seen in such publications as LIFE and The New York Times. But back in 1974 he was one of the New York City’s many starving artists, looking for inspiration in the landscape and people around him.

And he found it one day in Central Park when he ran into two young mimes: Todd Oppenheimer and a guy named Robin Williams.

“Back in the 1970’s I was a young photographer, short of funds, and not able to afford a studio or adventurous treks around the globe in search of the perfect image,” he told the website PetaPixel. “Therefore, the streets of New York City became my studio as well as the studio for many other aspiring photographers.”

Central Park offered numerous unique subjects to shoot, including live performers. And that’s when Sorine saw these two mimes.

“What attracted me to Robin Williams and his fellow mime, Todd Oppenheimer, was an unusual amount of intensity, personality and physical fluidity,” Sorine said. “When I approached them with my Pentax Spotmatic they allowed me to invite them into my camera instead of me having to chase after them.”

Those Robin Williams mime images and negatives has been packed away in an old suitcase for 35 years, but after going through his archives he found the shots posted above. Now after Williams’ passing, these photos, and Sorine’s story, have become public news. (In case you’re curious, Oppenheimer went on to become a respected journalist and editor.)

We attempted to contact Sorine for more information on this experience, and let you know what he’s been doing since then, but all links to his website are dead. He does have a RedBubble page, which offers this:

Born in Paris, France, Daniel Sorine received his education at Le Rosey in Switzerland and The School of Visual Arts in New York. Before discovering his passion for fiction writing, Daniel expressed his intense imagination and vision through photography.

His images have appeared worldwide in leading journals such as LIFE, Time, Newsweek and The New York Times as well as in advertising for major companies such as Sony, Du Pont and American Express.

Daniel has co-authored numerous books, with his wife, Stephanie, including the highly acclaimed “Dancershoes” published by Alfred A. Knopf. He is also the author of the novel “The Marigold Murders” available on Amazon Books. Daniel lives in Westchester County, New York.