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Gene Wilder: Richard Pryor Smoked Until His Death

June 15th, 2013 2:03pm EDT

Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor Legendary comic Richard Pryor defied doctors' advice to smoke in his final days and continued to puff away even on his deathbed, according to his close pal Gene Wilder.

The funnyman, who struggled with substance abuse throughout his career, suffered from multiple sclerosis in his later life and was also diagnosed with heart problems.

Medics urged him to quit his nicotine habit in a bid to prolong his life, but Wilder reveals his stubborn friend and Silver Streak co-star didn't listen, reports Moviefone.com.

Speaking during a special career overview at New York's 92Y venue on Thursday (13Jun13), Wilder recalled, "He had a heart (issue), and he wanted to smoke. The doctor said, 'I am telling you, if you smoke, you will die. Don't smoke.'

"When I went to see him, he had cigarettes and a lighter, and he couldn't walk without stumbling. He couldn't really do much, except he knew how to put the cigarette in his mouth. I didn't know what I could say to him to stop him from smoking cigarettes."

Pryor died from a cardiac arrest in 2005.

Related: Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, Celebrity, Deaths, Health & Fitness

This news article provided by World Entertainment News Network

Photo Credits: ourtesy BH Impact

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