Nathan Lane explains how Robin Williams protected him during a 1996 'Oprah' interview

Nathan Lane recently opened up about an interview he did with Oprah Winfrey in 1996, during which his late friend and fellow actor Robin Williams came to his rescue.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the Tony Award-winning actor explained that he and Williams were promoting their film “The Birdcage” at the time, and the atmosphere got a bit tense when Winfrey questioned him about his sexuality.

“I don’t think she was trying to be malicious, but it was a strange moment,” Lane said. “I was taken aback and I think I was blushing.”

That’s when Williams stepped in to protect his friend.

“He said, ‘What do you think he is, some kind of a pervert?’” Lane recalled. “He was so protective of me and so vocal. It was wonderful.”

Lane said the moment was a testament to the kind of person Williams was.

“He had a great sense of loyalty,” Lane said. “He was a real champion of people he liked and cared about.”

The two actors starred in several films together, including “The Birdcage” and “The Producers.” Lane said he was “devastated” when Williams passed away in 2014.

“I miss him every day,” he said. “He was a great friend and a great person.”