Gene Wilder’s Widow Reveals His Last Words

Gene Wilder’s widow, Karen Boyer, recently revealed the actor’s final words before his death in August 2016.

She shared what happened in the “Blazing Saddles” star’s final moments as part of a new documentary, “Remembering Gene Wilder.”

Boyer was Wilder’s fourth wife. They were married from 1991 until his death at the age of 83.

“He hadn’t walked alone [in a long time] and it was just a few days before he died, and I looked up and he was walking across the kitchen and then he said, ‘I want to go swimming,'” Boyer said in the documentary, per People. “He dove into the pool like he used to — I saw his little tush in the air — and I was awestruck.”

“And he took two strokes, he stood up, shook his head the way he always did to get the water out of his ear and said, ‘That’s good,'” she added. “Went back to bed, and I think he just wanted to get in the pool one more time.”

Wilder was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease three years before his death but kept his condition private.

“The music was playing in the background — Ella Fitzgerald was singing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow,’ and I was lying next to him, and he sat up in bed, and he said, ‘I trust you,'” Boyer said. “And then he said, ‘I love you.’ That’s the last thing he said.”

Wilder was known for roles in popular Hollywood features, including “Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” (1971). He was a frequent collaborator with Mel Brooks, working with him on comedies including “The Producers” (1967), “Blazing Saddles” (1974), and “Young Frankenstein” (1974). He also wrote and directed several of his own films.

The actor was married to Mary Mercier from 1960 until 1965. He married his sister’s friend, Mary Joan Schutz, in 1967 and divorced again in 1982. His third marriage was to “Saturday Night Life” actress Gilda Radner from 1984 until her death from cancer in 1989.

At another point in the documentary, Boyer gushed about her relationship with the actor. “Gene was wonderful; he was the best husband I think anybody could ask for. To love and be loved is the best gift anybody could ask for, and we had that,” she said.

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