'The Princess Bride' star Mandy Patinkin emotionally reveals how his late father inspired his performance

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It sometimes gets lost in all the stories about online hate, but social media is also responsible for beautiful connections, like one that happened Tuesday between Mandy Patinkin and a fan. The Emmy-winning actor choked up during an exchange with a TikTok user after she asked him about a moment in his beloved 1987 movie The Princess Bride.

The fan, who uses the handle @Alaska_Webb, explained that her father died of cancer in March, and she wanted to know whether it was true that Patinkin had been thinking of his own late father, who also died of cancer, when he famously said, "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die," to an adversary at a key moment.

Mandy Patinkin stars in
Mandy Patinkin stars in "The Princess Bride." (Photo: 20th Century Fox Film Corp./Courtesy Everett Collection)

She was in tears as she asked the question and thanked Patinkin for making something that meant so much to her and her dad. Patinkin and his wife, Kathryn Grody, also got emotional as they watched the message.

Then Patinkin kindly responded: "First of all, your dad is taking care of you. Secondly, it is true, 100 percent true. I went outside in this castle and walked around and I kept talking to my dad."

He explained that his father is actually the entire reason he chose to play Montoya, who's well prepared for a showdown with Christopher Guest's character, Count Rugen, a man with six fingers on his right hand.

"The minute I read the script, I knew," Patinkin said. "I said to Kath, I said, 'I'm going to do this part because in my mind, if I get the six-fingered guy, that means I killed the cancer that killed my dad and I'll get to visit my dad."

The actor asked for the name of the woman's father, so he can pray for him, just as he does for "everyone I've ever known." He added that the people he prays for "make me feel like they're with me wherever I go, and I'd like your dad to hang out with me."