In pictures – Robin Williams at the Lonach Gathering

TRAGIC Hollywood funnyman Robin Williams was a regular at the Lonach Gathering, even taking part in the games’ gruelling hill race.

A close friend of Billy Connolly’s, Williams enjoyed a visit to the Big Yin’s Strathdon property on several occasions.Today the Scottish comic said: “Robin was both my friend and my hero, a unique talent and a kind and generous man; the world will be a much poorer place without him.”Williams received a standing ovation from the 8500-strong crowd in 1999 when he abandoned the VIP stand to take part in the Highland Games events.Despite his fame he was happy to mingle with the crowds, and even donned a full Highland outfit.Midway through the afternoon in the 1999 event, he swapped his kilt and tweed jacket for a bright green sweatshirt and black running shorts and shoes – complete with a water bottle – to join the line-up for the gruelling Ben Newe hill race challenge.He delighted the crowds as he set out on the race, and returned to the arena in a respectable time.Robin Williams completes the hill race in 2001.

Williams and good friend Eric Idle watch the action at Lonach.

Williams chats to fellow hill runners.

The actor is surrounded by Taiwanese students at the Lonach Gathering.

Williams with his second wife Marsha Garces Williams.

Robin Willliams with his family at the Lonach Gathering.