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Comedy Legend Gene Wilder's Family Kept His Alzheimer’s Secret Until He's Gone, Now His Widow Goes Candid On His Heartbreaking Battle

Date September 12, 2019 13:03

Cinematic comedy legend Gene Wilder died on August 29, 2016 night of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83.

Comedy Legend Gene Wilder's Family Kept His Alzheimer’s Secret Until He's Gone, Now His Widow Goes Candid On His Heartbreaking BattleComedy Legend Gene Wilder's Family Kept His Alzheimer’s Secret Until He's Gone, Now His Widow Goes Candid On His Heartbreaking BattleComedy Legend Gene Wilder's Family Kept His Alzheimer’s Secret Until He's Gone, Now His Widow Goes Candid On His Heartbreaking BattleComedy Legend Gene Wilder's Family Kept His Alzheimer’s Secret Until He's Gone, Now His Widow Goes Candid On His Heartbreaking BattleGetty Images / Ideal Image

Wilder's disease

Wilder purposely kept the disease private because he didn’t want to upset fans who loved his role as Willy Wonka in the beloved ‘70s film "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory." But now that his secret is out, Wilder’s death from Alzheimer’s could bring more awareness to the disease.

The family emphasized that the disease “never stole his ability to recognize those that were closest to him, nor took command of his central-gentle-life affirming core personality. It took enough, but not that.”

Comedy Legend Gene Wilder's Family Kept His Alzheimer’s Secret Until He's Gone, Now His Widow Goes Candid On His Heartbreaking BattleComedy Legend Gene Wilder's Family Kept His Alzheimer’s Secret Until He's Gone, Now His Widow Goes Candid On His Heartbreaking BattleComedy Legend Gene Wilder's Family Kept His Alzheimer’s Secret Until He's Gone, Now His Widow Goes Candid On His Heartbreaking BattleComedy Legend Gene Wilder's Family Kept His Alzheimer’s Secret Until He's Gone, Now His Widow Goes Candid On His Heartbreaking BattleGetty Images / Ideal Image

Wilder continued to enjoy art and music and his relationship with his wife, Karen, in his last years, the family said.

Gene's wife intimated abouth his heartbreaking battle with the disease and how she was always there for him.

"One day, I saw him struggle with the ties on his drawstring pants. That night, I took the drawstrings out. Then his wrist was bleeding from the failed effort of trying to take off his watch. I put his watch away. "

Despite his disease was progressing and slowly killing Gene, the couple still had some good times. They laughed and cried together living through every moment as their last one.

Comedy Legend Gene Wilder's Family Kept His Alzheimer’s Secret Until He's Gone, Now His Widow Goes Candid On His Heartbreaking BattleComedy Legend Gene Wilder's Family Kept His Alzheimer’s Secret Until He's Gone, Now His Widow Goes Candid On His Heartbreaking BattleComedy Legend Gene Wilder's Family Kept His Alzheimer’s Secret Until He's Gone, Now His Widow Goes Candid On His Heartbreaking BattleComedy Legend Gene Wilder's Family Kept His Alzheimer’s Secret Until He's Gone, Now His Widow Goes Candid On His Heartbreaking BattleGetty Images / Ideal Image

His relationship with wife

They've been together till the comedy legend's last breaths:

"I was in the bed next to him when he took his last breaths. By that point, it had been days since he’d spoken. But on that last night, he looked me straight in the eye and said, three times over, "I trust you."

Although Gene Wilder was married for 4 times, it was his wife Karen Boyer whom he called his true love. In one of his interviews he said:

"I’ve found – after a long time – real love. That is, love that will last as long as I’m alive."

And he, in fact was absolutely right!

Comedy Legend Gene Wilder's Family Kept His Alzheimer’s Secret Until He's Gone, Now His Widow Goes Candid On His Heartbreaking BattleComedy Legend Gene Wilder's Family Kept His Alzheimer’s Secret Until He's Gone, Now His Widow Goes Candid On His Heartbreaking BattleComedy Legend Gene Wilder's Family Kept His Alzheimer’s Secret Until He's Gone, Now His Widow Goes Candid On His Heartbreaking BattleComedy Legend Gene Wilder's Family Kept His Alzheimer’s Secret Until He's Gone, Now His Widow Goes Candid On His Heartbreaking BattleGetty Images / Ideal Image

Sure, it was Gene's decision to disclose his conditions. Yet, not every person with Alzheimer’s has the opportunity to make that decision. Many people don’t recognize early signs of the disease and wait until it’s too late to see their doctor.

This might serve as a good example for families who don't take measures in time! Give your loved one a chance to make their own decisions and spend their life the way they want. Don't they deserve it?