Actor Gene Wilder was reported to have died from “complications from Alzheimer’s,” and now on the one-year anniversary, his death certificate reveals the precise cause.
Wilder died of renal failure, or kidney failure, on Aug. 29, 2016, in his hometown of Stamford, Connecticut, according to the death certificate.
While the document doesn’t make the connection to Alzheimer’s, kidney failure is regarded by medical researchers as one of the fatal complications of Alzheimer’s disease.
A copy of the certificate was obtained by WND reader Kim Blandino, who noted that while many jurisdictions forbid the release of death certificates to the public, Stamford makes them available.
Wilder is known for his roles in hit movies such as “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein” and “Stir Crazy.”
At the time of his death at age 83, nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman announced Wilder had died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
“We understand for all the emotional and physical challenges this situation presented we have been among the lucky ones — this illness-pirate, unlike in so many cases, never stole his ability to recognize those that were closest to him, nor took command of his central-gentle-life affirming core personality,” Walker-Perlman said in his statement.
He noted that Wilder’s struggle with Alzheimer’s had been kept hidden.
“The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him ‘there’s Willy Wonka,’ would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion.”
The nephew said Wilder “simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.”
“He continued to enjoy art, music, and kissing with his leading lady of the last 25 years, Karen. He danced down a church aisle at a wedding as parent of the groom and ring bearer, held countless afternoon movie western marathons and delighted in the the company of beloved ones.”
Dr. Maurizio Grimaldi, the leader of the Neuropharmacology and Neuroscience Laboratory at Southern Research Institute in Alabama, explained in a post on AgingCare.com how a disease of the memory such as Alzheimer’s leads to death.
He said that while the disease initially manifests with memory failure, as it progresses, it has an effect on higher brain functions, which leads to secondary illnesses and conditions that “are actually responsible for causing the patient’s death and are commonly cited as such on death certificates.”
Among them are lung infections, sepsis and kidney failure.