Gene Wilder’s Alzheimer’s disease has been kept away from the public until his final days. Does this mean the renowned actor was embarrassed of what people might think of him?
The family of the late actor, who died at 83-years-old earlier this month in his home in Stamford, Connecticut, confirmed Gene Wilder’s Alzheimer’s disease in their official statement.
They said that Gene Wilder does not want to be remembered by kids, who knew him as the famous Willie Wonka, as someone who will be associated with an elderly disease. Gene Wilder portrayed the iconic role for the children’s movie “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”
“The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity,” his family said. “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.”
Aside from Gene Wilder’s portrayal of Willy Wonka role from the “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” movie, he also starred in “The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein,” and “Stir Crazy.”
His nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman said of the actor’s final moments, “He was eighty-three and passed holding out hands with the same tenderness and love he exhibited as long as I can remember.”