Bob Saget Explained How ‘Mortality … Has Fortunately Changed Me’ in One of His Final Interviews

In a previously unreleased interview on the Til This Day with Radio Rahim podcast, Saget spoke about losing multiple loved ones throughout his life and how that helped him “grow”

Just eight months before his sudden death at the age of 65, Bob Saget was reflecting on his awareness of mortality and the ways in which it was reshaping him for the better.

In May 2021, the Full House star recorded a candid interview for the Til This Day with Radio Rahim podcast. That interview, which offers rare insight to Saget’s state of mind during the final months of his life, has never been made public — until now.

PEOPLE can exclusively share the conversation, which will be released by Luminary in three parts this week. In it, he opened up about losing multiple loved ones throughout his lifetime and how that helped him “grow” as a person.

“I’m proud of myself because I’m onto a new thing,” Saget told host Radio Rahim in the first part of the interview. “At 65, I’m different than I was. We’re all rethinking what we said 20 years ago, 10 years ago, four years ago. I’m not even rethinking it, I just don’t have the same way of doing humor or conversation.”

“I guess therapy, having three kids, watching people pass away in the past few years, mortality, all that stuff has fortunately changed me,” he continued. “My kids tell me, ‘Dad, you’re different. It’s so nice to watch you grow.'”

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Bob Saget Explained How 'Mortality ... Has Fortunately Changed Me' in One of His Final Interviews

Later during the interview, Saget spoke about losing his loved ones, including his uncles, aunt, cousins and sisters, and how he was inspired to embrace life based on his father’s reaction to the deaths.

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“I was 9, and we had so many deaths growing up that my dad would just, instill [having fun] in me — he didn’t teach it to me. I just saw, hey, he reacted,” Saget explained. “He buried four brothers and a sister in his life. He buried all his siblings. I helped him write the speech at 3:30 in the morning in Philly.”

“I said, ‘It’s going to be the shortest funeral of your life, Dad. You’re 85 and I’m not putting you through this anymore,'” he continued. “And his brother passed away and he lived to about 78, which was longer than any of the others. They died at like 40, 37, really weird heart attacks, so I have a heart doctor as my [general practitioner]. And my dad wrote a speech, we did it together.”

Saget said his dad gave “the best speech,” but it was ultimately the way he delivered it that encouraged him to see life and mortality differently.

“You talk present day on people when they’re gone,” Saget noted. “He gave the best speech … he wrote it, but I just moved things around like you do for people, especially when they’re grieving. And his ending was something like, ‘I’ll see you in 30 years, Joe.’ And it’s good to close with something sweet that makes people feel the love.”

Bob Saget Explained How 'Mortality ... Has Fortunately Changed Me' in One of His Final Interviews

At another point during their conversation, Saget revealed how he leaned into the arts, specifically filming with an eight-millimeter camera, as a way to cope with the many deaths in his family. He then turned those projects into a force for good.

“[The deaths] started when I was, like, 7 and then every two years somebody died,” he explained. “[I had] a cousin die — she died at 23 of cancer after giving birth to her child — and then a lot of cousins went through a lot of hardship, so I was like 9, 10, 11, 12, 14. It was a lot. And then I lost both my sisters.”

“There’s so much pain, and my parents couldn’t deal with it,” he continued. “And every time they finally started to try to regroup, something else terrible happened. And then one of my sisters [Gay] got this disease Scleroderma in 1994.”

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Though Saget said he “was not really successful yet” in 1994, his career eventually began to pick up — thanks in part to his role as Danny Tanner on Full House — and he was soon able to produce and direct a made-for-TV movie about the disease, loosely based on his sister’s life.

“I was working with ABC, so they let me make this TV movie with Dana Delaney starring in it, playing my sister,” he explained of the 1996 project, titled For Hope. “I’ve done over 30 years of benefits and we’ve raised over $50 million for the Scleroderma Research Foundation. It affects mostly women and you can die from your lungs, pulmonary hypertension. This is an autoimmune and vascular disease, but it’s more prevalent than you would think.”

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As Saget’s fans know, the actor was already involved with the Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF) before his sister knew she had the disease.

He got involved with the organization after founder Sharon Monsky asked him to host an early version of the foundation’s Cool Comedy, Hot Cuisine fundraiser. Once Gay was diagnosed with the rare condition, Saget dedicated himself to fundraising, hosting the event through 2021, and sitting on the board of the SRF.

“It’s one of my life’s work because my sister died at 47,” he told Rahim on the podcast, before adding, “That’s the best part about being an only child, man. You don’t have to worry about losing a sibling.”

Heartbreakingly, the same day that Saget was found dead in his hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando following a performance outside of Jacksonville, Florida, would have been Gay’s 75th birthday. Officials later determined that the beloved Full House actor died from head trauma consistent with some kind of fall.

To donate to the Scleroderma Research Foundation in Saget’s memory, click here.

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