Gene Wilder, the endlessly charismatic and legendary actor that personified Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), passed away on Sunday 28th August 2016 aged 83.
The actor, whose collaborations with director Mel Brooks shot the star to fame in the 1970s with the likes of Willy Wonka and Blazing Saddles, has been confirmed by his nephew to have died due to complications with Alzheimers disease.
The legendary actor brought such star power to each of his movies that his projects were often few and far between, though being diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1989 all but put an end to his acting days.
Wilder’s acting career started on the stage and transitioned to the Silver Screen when he played as a kidnapped undertaker in Bonnie & Clyde (1967).
Long-time collaborator and friend Mel Brooks took to Twitter to present his commiserations. We’ll leave you with his thoughts:
Gene Wilder-One of the truly great talents of our time. He blessed every film we did with his magic & he blessed me with his friendship.
— Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) 29 August 2016