Infamously known for his starring roles in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Blazing Saddles, and The Producers, Gene Wilder has died today, August 29, 2016 at 83 years old. His death occurred due to complications from Alzheimerâ€™s disease, according to his nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman.
“The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him ‘there’s Willy Wonka,’ would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion. He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.”
Wilder became a part of Hollywoodâ€™s identity as well as a significant piece of film history through his portrayal of daring and unconventional characters, which have shaped the way people imagine comedy.
Although Wilder is mostly known for his eccentric, panicked roles in collaboration with Mel Brooksâ€™ Young Frankenstein and Woody Allenâ€™s Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex, his range of emotion and capability as an artist goes beyond hysterical comedy. He understood how to render charming, relaxed characters in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Blazing Saddles. In addition to film, Wilder proved himself as a versatile artist. He was a Broadway actor, as he performed in Graham Greeneâ€™s comedy, The Complaisant Lover and also wrote screenplays and a number of novels.
He committed himself to everything he did, with each character finely tuned. His admirable roles, hilarity, and ability to make people smile will never be forgotten.