Yesterday was a sad day in Hollywood. It was announced that Gene Wilder had passed away at the age of 83. His nephew revealed that he he died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease after being diagnosed three years ago.
His family said in a statement, “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. He was 83 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 [of our] cherished possessions. She was singing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ as he was taken away.”