Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- Daniel Hillard/Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire – Robin Williams
- Miranda Hillard – Sally Field
- Lydia Hillard – Lisa Jakub
- Christopher Hillard – Matthew Lawrence
- Natalie Hillard – Mara Wilson
- Uncle Frank Hillard – Harvey Fierstein
- Stuart Dunmeyer – Pierce Brosnan
- Gloria Chaney – Polly Holliday
Williams plays Daniel Hillard, an out-of-work actor whose interior decorator wife Miranda (played by Field) wants a divorce. Since Daniel has no steady source of income, Miranda will get primary custody of their three children and Daniel will only have limited visitation rights. Miranda places an advertisement for a housekeeper and gets a surprising response – a large number of unsuitable applicants. Daniel had decided that the best way to spend more time with his children was to become the ideal housekeeper. He first makes it difficult for Miranda by vetting the unsuitable applicants and finally presenting the perfect applicant, giving the name "Mrs. Doubtfire" after reading the news headline "Police Doubt Fire Was Accidental". With the makeup skills of his brother and his own acting talent, Daniel goes to the Hillard residence as Euphegenia Doubtfire and is quickly offered the job.
As Mrs. Doubtfire, Daniel is able to see his children every day, giving him the opportunity to be the firm father figure that he wasn't before the divorce. The difference shows in the three children, and Miranda remarks one night that something about Mrs. Doubtfire is very familiar.
Daniel's cover is blown when Christopher walks in on him standing at the toilet – he then explains the situation to the two elder children, explaining that Natalie would not be able to keep such a big secret. Both children are happy to have their father back in their lives.
The deceit is then revealed to Miranda one evening when Mrs. Doubtfire is dining out with the Hillard family on the same night that Daniel is at dinner with the executive producer at his new job in a television studio. He keeps switching between the characters until his mask comes off as he performs the Heimlich maneuver on Stuart. Stuart is alergic to cayenne pepper, which caused his choking. Afterwards, Daniel says that he is sorry about the cayenne pepper.
In family court, Daniel confesses his need to be with his children, but custody is awarded wholly to Miranda. They all miss having him around, though, and one day they see "Aunt Euphegenia's House," a new children's TV show of which Daniel (as Mrs. Doubtfire) is the star. This evidence allows Daniel and Miranda to agree to joint custody of their three children, and the movie ends.
According to Williams, the studio had wanted the parents to be reunited in the final reel, but both he and Field resisted this, thinking it too unrealistic and likely to give false hope to the children of divorced parents.
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