Gene Wilder’s widow remembers actor’s sweet last words in new documentary

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By journalsofus.com


Gene Wilder’s widow Karen Boyer remembers the last words her late husband spoke before his death in August 2016.

A new “Remembering Gene Wilder” documentary focuses on the actor’s Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis and his final days.

In the film, Boyer remembers listening to Ella Fitzgerald’s famous hit, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with Gene before speaking for the last time.

“There was music playing in the background — Ella Fitzgerald was singing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow,’ and I was laying next to him, and he sat on the bed, and he said, ‘I trust you,'” she said. , per People magazine.

“And then he said, ‘I love you.’ That’s the last thing he said.”

Wilder died on August 29, 2016, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83 years old.

Boyer remembered the first time she learned that Wilder was struggling with his memory when he was unable to remember the title of “Young Frankenstein”, which he said was “his favorite film.”

“He never really accepted that he had Alzheimer’s, and maybe by the time we found out what it was, his hippocampus wouldn’t let him remember,” she said in the film.

“So I’m not sure he ever knew. I felt sick to my stomach as I watched him slide away from me, but I had to keep smiling and tell him everything was okay.

A new “Remembering Gene Wilder” documentary focuses on the actor’s Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis and his final days. Courtesy Everett Collection
Wilder died on August 29, 2016, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83 years old. Courtesy Everett Collection

Boyer added, “Gene was amazing; I think he was the best husband anyone could ask for. To love and be loved is the best gift anyone could ask for and we have it.”

Wilder was married four times. His third marriage, to fellow comedian Gilda Radnor, an original cast member of “Saturday Night Live”, lasted from 1984–89, when she died of complications from ovarian cancer.

The former couple met on the set of the film “Hanky ​​Panky” directed by Sidney Poitier.

He married Karen Webb (Boyer) in 1991, a supervisor for the New York League for the Hard of Hearing who was the expert in his 1989 film, “See No Evil, Hear No Evil.”

Boyer remembered the first time she learned that Wilder was struggling with his memory when he was unable to remember the title of “Young Frankenstein”, which he said was “his favorite film.” Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
He married Karen Webb (Boyer) in 1991, a supervisor for the New York League for the Hard of Hearing who was the expert in his 1989 film, “See No Evil, Hear No Evil.” Andrew Gombert/EPA/Shutterstock

Brian Scott Mednick, who published a biography about the Hollywood icon titled “Gene Wilder: Funny and Sad”, recalled Wilder being completely attracted to Karen.

“Gene called Karen the greatest love of his life,” Mednick told Woman’s World in 2018. “This was his fourth and longest marriage; He died shortly before their 25th wedding anniversary.

Gene admitted that he had been very unhappy with Gilda for a long time. He did not think he would marry again, and said he did not believe in fate.

“And he almost cried telling an interviewer how passionate his love was for Karen. He said that he always felt that you make your life and then call it destiny, but Karen made him believe in destiny. Like any marriage, it was not without its problems, but it was a very strong, loving marriage. He just idolized him.”

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