Monday, August 29, 2016

Gene Wilder, please rest in peace

He was never 'in your face' as either an actor or a comedian--not like Tom Cruise or Jim Carey. He was just around the edges of your life, in quirky little ways, not causing tsunamis--more like a gentle spring rain or the first snow of winter.

Gene Wilder had a gentle way of getting under your skin.

He was one of my favorite actor/comedians. He always said, "I'm an 'actor' not a 'clown'" and that was so true. He didn't 'tell jokes', he just 'acted' in wonderfully funny ways.

I heard an interview with his nephew--he had no children, much the loss of DNA--who revealed that he had been diagnosed with the Alzheimer's that killed him eventually three years ago, when he was 80. Gene, and his family, decided, before his disease had progressed very far, not to let anyone know.

The reason was this: when Gene Wilder went out in public, even a little 'off', children saw Willy Wonka and smiled at him. He didn't want the parents to tell them he was ill or damaged and take away their joy at seeing him.

Even that is gentle and sweet.

He's one of the few celebrities I wish I had known.

Go gently (as you always went) into that Good Night, my friend.

Be well and stay well in whatever it is that comes next after giving so much joy to so many.

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.