Love, Gilda

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

MONTREAL – I was so young when I first saw Gilda Redner on the screen and it wasn’t as one of the comedians on Saturday Night Live (SNL). Nope. It was actually while I was watching the 1982 classic film Hanky Panky with Gene Wilder on tv. It was a winter day in December 1987, like the song California Dreaming from The Mammas and The Papas.

The first thing that hit me with Gilda was the fact that I could relate to her with her sense of humor I found her to have this mix of innocence and sarcasm. With her big and beautiful smile, she could get away with anything.

Gilda Radner

For me, at 4 years old, Gilda was my favorite actress because of the one movie I saw her. I didn’t know she was unfortunately sick. In my mind, she was eternal. Two years later, I was a little bit older and I religiously watched Mary Hart on Entertainment Tonight (ET) every day. This was when I learned that Gilda had cancer. During one of the nights I watched ET with Mary Hart and John Tash, I learned that my favorite actress had passed away. She would no longer make fun-loving movies.

As the years passed and I grew up, Gilda reserved a really nice surprise for me. I knew that she was one of the first comedians on SNL. YouTube hadn’t been created yet, but thank God, they had reruns of old SNL episodes on NBC sometimes.

During those specials episodes, I met Roseanne Roseannadanna and I started to make of parodies of Roseanne at school (ok, there was a student, who I won’t name, that threw a really painful snowball at me when I did my imitation of Roseanne).

My favorite character was Emily Litella. Since I first saw Emily Litella, I was enamored. I named my Barbie dolls after her. This character was based on her real-life nanny when she was a young girl, Elizabeth Clementine Gillies. Gilda made my pre-teenage years and my teenage years a lot less painful.

Why am I writing about Gilda today?

It’s because I saw a fabulous documentary on CNN, on January 5th called Love, Gilda. It was so touching, funny and inspiring! There were things I didn’t know Gilda was struggling with early on such as her eating disorder. In her autobiography, It’s Always Something, she spoke frankly about her eating disorder struggles, the loss of her father who she loved so dearly and her illness. The documentary was directed by the talented Lisa Dapolito (a quick shoutout). It’s a real treasure, this documentary.

Love, Gilda

My favorite part was when I saw Gilda and Gene’s dog coming to wake her upon her hospital bed. Gene was right next to her and you could feel the love they all had for one another (including their nice dog whose name I forgot).

She finally met her prince charming.

Gene and Gilda

If you are searching for a bittersweet and well-done documentary, I strongly suggest grabbing a box of tissues and watching Love, Gilda.

Smily Gilda

I would like to end this post with what Lisa D’Apolito is hoping for us, the audience, to capture during this beautiful documentary:

The film is made up of Gilda’s voice narrating her story, her performances that give insight into her life, interviews with her friends, interviews with contemporary comedians about how she inspired them and her ‘inner’ voice as written her journals.

My hope with Love, Gilda is that the audience will go on their own journey with Gilda and that people who love her, discover more about her and people who have never heard of her, are inspired by her story and grow to love her too.

  • Lisa D’Apolito

Lisa D'Apolito

We do love you Gilda.







Je vois combien je t’aime…

Les textes de Patrick Bourgeois m’ont fait tomber en amour avec l’écriture francophone soit dans les chansons ou dans les livres de poésie. J’étais toute petite que je chantais en plus les chansons de Mitsou, les chansons des B.B. suivaient tout de suite après. Je commençais à lire durant cette période et j’étais une amoureuse des mots et des sons.


Les BB

Dimanche soir, en regardant mon compte Instagram, mon cœur a arrêté de battre pendant un moment. Je me disais que je dois rêver et que ce rêve est un cauchemar. J’apprends que notre cher Patrick nous a quittés. Un artiste que j’ai tant aimé et que je me disais ça serait super de le rencontrer autour d’un café.


Je me permets d’écrire F** Le Cancer. F*** you!

Patrick était si rayonnant, si fier de son fils, si fier de croquer dans la vie. L’éternelle optimiste.

Il m’a fait croire à mon chevalier imaginaire.

Au primaire, on me disait toujours que j’étais dans la lune. Tellement, qu’un de mes professeurs l’a écrit dans mon bulletin. Sab est une bonne élève, mais elle est toujours dans la lune. La chanson des B.B. qui porte le même nom était mon hymne à moi. Et je disais à cette enseignante, ils ont écrit cette chanson pour moi. Ah, les enfants, mais c’est ça la magie des mots. Patrick était mon magicien des mots et il me faisait rêver.

Michael Hutchence me rendait “bad ass”. Patrick Bourgeois me rendait ”féerique’ et il m’a donné des ailes pour que je continue à m’envoler dans le monde de l’écriture francophone.

Il nous manque à tous et mais nous l’aimerons à jamais.

Ludovick et Patrick

Bon repos Patrick.

Two brothers, two men and 1 fight!

Yesterday, I was so proud and so sad when I watched the video of two men that had Prostate Cancer. One of them detected it early and will live. The other, unfortunately, didn’t and he passed away.

Those two brave men are Bret and Smith Hart.

Bret and Smith Hart

Smith Hart passed away July 2nd from prostate cancer. His final hope was that men will get themselves checked regularly (and women for their related cancers) and have a better outcome than himself.

Smith Hart WW

My father had prostate cancer 10 years ago. He was one of the lucky ones. It was found early, like Bret’s. I’m very happy to have shared the past 10 years with him and am looking forward to many more.

This feeling is probably similar to that ofJade, Dallas, Alex, and Blade Hart. But, I’m thinking about Smith’s children and it’s breaking my heart.

Cancer is a scary word. I heard it again, in September 2016, when my better half was diagnostic with throat cancer (he is not a smoker by the way). It was devastating, crushing, and so frightening!

Today, I can say that he has kicked cancer behind in him a big way and all because he caught it early. With the surgery and his treatments, he is in remission now. No more malignant tumour in his body. He has regained his strength and his health. Again, early detection was his saviour.

He was and still is my hero, like everyone including my father, Bret, and many more, that have bravely faced this disease.

In the video I will share with you, you will see the story of the two men I mentioned earlier on.

Bret and Smith Hart video

I’m proudly sharing this story with you and hope you will share it too. Let’s all save lives the best we can.

I’m so proud of Bret for being a spokesperson for the Movember Canada Foundation and keeping up the good fight.

Bret Hart

Let’s join him and let’s stop men dying too young!




SSF transparent log


Prostate Cancer Canada website