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Gene Wilder's Wife Remembers Late Stamford Actor's Battle With Alzheimer's

In 2016, Gene Wilder died after battling Alzheimer’s disease. In 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,' Wilder inspires viewers to believe that anything’s possible with the power of imagination. But Alzheimer’s can rob you of your imagination.
In 2016, Gene Wilder died after battling Alzheimer’s disease. In 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,' Wilder inspires viewers to believe that anything’s possible with the power of imagination. But Alzheimer’s can rob you of your imagination. Video Credit: actionalz

STAMFORD, Conn. — Karen Wilder, who was married to Gene Wilder for 25 years before the Stamford actor's death, has written an essay about her husband's battle with Alzheimer's disease for ABC News.

She writes about how she cared for her husband, who died in August 2016 at the age of 83, as his condition deteriorated.

And Gene Wilder's legacy will live on in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.

A video of him in his beloved role as Willy Wonka (above) is featured in the Alzheimer’s Association's “Pure Imagination Project,” which aims to increase awareness about Alzheimer’s disease.

In the video, Wilder sings “Pure Imagination” from the 1971 movie "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory," based on the beloved Roald Dahl book.

But in the Public Service Announcement from the Alzheimer’s Association, the confections begin to vanish from the colorful scene.

“Alzheimer’s can steal your imagination piece by piece,” the PSA says. “But with your help, imagine how we can end it.” Wilder then sings the chorus: “Come with me, and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination.”

Click here to read Karen Wilder's essay at the ABC News website.

For more information on the Alzheimer's Association and its “Pure Imagination” project, visit alz.org/pureimagination .

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