Follow-up to yesterday’s post: “Good day, sir!”
Gene Wilder just quietly dropped off the entertainment world’s radar over these last 20 years. Nobody knew he had become ill with Alzheimer’s three years ago. He did not make public his condition out of some faux moral obligation to bring awareness to society about the debilitating condition. He just wanted to be remembered as he had been, but more out of our sense of well-being than his own.
Part of a statement from Gene Wilder’s nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman…
“The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him ‘there’s Willy Wonka,’ would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion. He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world … As our hands clutched and he performed one last breath the music speaker, which was set to random, began to bare out one of his favorites: Ella Fitzgerald. There is a picture of he [sic] and Ella meeting at a London bistro some years ago that are among each [of] our cherished possessions. She was singing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow,’ as he was taken away.”
What a wonderful man.