Gene Wilder‘s death was just the end to a long, painful struggle for his family. The National ENQUIRER has learned that the beloved actor had secretly been struggling with Alzheimer’s disease for three years!
Wilder’s nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman, reported the news of his uncle’s death and released a statement reveaoing his painful secret.
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Gene Wilder died from "complications from Alzheimers Disease with which he co-existed for the last three years," according to his family
— Austin Hunt (@AustinHunt) August 29, 2016
“It is with indescribable sadness and blues, but with spiritual gratitude for the life lived that I announce the passing of husband, parent, and universal artist Gene Wilder, at his home in Stamford, Connecticut,” Wilder’s nephew said in the statement.
He continued, “It is almost unbearable for us to contemplate our life without him … The cause was complications from Alzheimer’s Disease with which he co-existed for the last three years.”
Wilder was reclusive in his final years, making rare public appearances and scarcely acting. His nephew explained, “The choice to keep this private was his choice, in talking with us and making a decision as a family. We understand for all the emotional and physical challenges this situation presented we have been among the lucky ones — this illness-pirate, unlike in so many cases, 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.”
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The actor had also been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1989.
The statement concluded, “He was eighty-three and passed holding our hands with the same tenderness and love he exhibited as long as I can remember. As our hands clutched and he performed one last breath the music speaker, which was set to random, began to blare out one of his favorites: Ella Fitzgerald. There is a picture of he and Ella meeting at a London Bistro some years ago that are among each or cherished possessions. She was singing ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow,’ as he was taken away.”
Wilder’s longtime friend and collaborator Mel Brooks tweeted his condolences writing, “Gene Wilder-One of the truly great talents of our time. He blessed every film we did with his magic & he blessed me with his friendship.”
Gene Wilder-One of the truly great talents of our time. He blessed every film we did with his magic & he blessed me with his friendship.
— Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) August 29, 2016