Gene battled non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1999. He went through chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, and in 2002 doctors confirmed his cancer was in remission.
GENE WILDER SECRET DOSSIER
Photo by: Walter Mirisch Corp. “Willy Wonka”
Willy Wonka star GENE WILDER — on beyond Oompa Loompas.
The legendary comic actor says he’s found the secret to extending his life — his two new dogs!
At a reading of his new collection of short stories – What Is This Thing Called Love? – at a New York City bookstore , the cancer survivor, 76, gushed about brand-new pooches Maltese and Maltipoo.
“When we got them, I figured they would either shorten my life or lengthen my life,” he quipped, sitting on stage with fourth wife, Karen Webb.
“I wasn’t really sure which it would be. But now I think they are lengthening it, because we play together and we have a lot of fun together.”
Gene – famous for his roles in Blazing Saddles, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, The Frisco Kid and Young Frankenstein – battled non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1999.
He went through chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, and in 2002 doctors confirmed his cancer was in remission.
Although Gene appeared frail-looking, he and wife Karen seemed happy together.
Gene and Karen, 59, met in 1988 when Karen worked as a speech pathologist and Gene was researching his role as a deaf man for See No Evil, Hear No Evil with Richard Pryor.
He reconnected with her after third wife Gilda Radner’s death from ovarian cancer in 1989, and the two married in 1991.
“I know what love is now, and I’ve found it,” said Gene. “She’s sitting right next to me.”