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Mel Brooks Explains Why It Was ‘Insanity’ Trying To Save Gene Wilder

Brooks tried his best to help Wilder. Sadly, he learned that not even the strongest friendship could change his condition.

In ‘Remembering Gene Wilder,’ Mel Brooks shared how he felt while trying to help Gene Wilder through his illness.

Wilder was battling Alzheimer’s. Sadly, he passed away in 2016 despite all efforts.

Brooks tried everything he could think of to help Wilder remember things he was starting to forget. Brooks thought that by talking about the past, he could somehow make Wilder better. But he soon realized that Alzheimer’s is not something you can just wish away. As per Movieweb, the actor recalled:

“I called him a lot, thinking, ‘Maybe if I gave him enough references, I could get him out of it.’ Insanity [on] my part. He was in the throes of that terrible disease. We could never talk too long after he got it. It was so sad; it made me cry a lot. I was inconsolable for a couple of weeks [after Wilder’s death.]

They Had a Close Friendship

Brooks was also trying to keep the laughter and joy they shared alive. Remembering how Wilder would laugh so hard he’d end up rolling on the ground, the actor said the following about his late friend:

“When he lived his life, he lived it loud and eloquently. He was an outstanding actor and also an outstanding person. I miss him enjoying my humor—I could make him laugh, and he would sometimes grab his belly, hit the ground, roll around on the ground, and laugh. That’s the real payment in being a comic, and boy, he paid.”

Wilder and Brooks were more than just work buddies. They were close friends who created some of the funniest movies ever, like ‘Young Frankenstein,’ ‘Blazing Saddles,’ and ‘The Producers.’

‘Remembering Gene Wilder’ Honors His Memory

‘Remembering Gene Wilder’ was recently released to honor Wilder’s memory. The documentary features stories from those who knew him best, including his wife, Karen Boyer, and other celebrities like Alan Alda and Harry Connick Jr.

‘Remembering Gene Wilder’ started showing in theaters on March 15 and will be available for streaming on April 30, 2024.

You can watch the trailer below.

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