The star of Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, Young Frankenstein and Stir Crazy has passed on.
Gene Wilder, star of classic hits Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory and Stir Crazy, passed away early Monday morning at his home in Stamford, Conn. He was 83 years old, and according to his nephew, filmmaker Jordan Walker-Pearlman, the cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease.
Wilder established himself as one of the great comedic actors of our time, working with infamous parody director Mel Brooks on movies like Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. His rule for comedy: don’t try to make it funny; try to make it real. “I’m an actor, not a clown,” he said more than once.
Perhaps Wilder’s most famous role was in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, where his fantastic portrayal of the titular Wonka helped the film to become a cult classic.
Wilder was an accomplished stage actor as well as a screenwriter, a novelist and the director of four movies in which he starred.
He is survived by his fourth wife Karen Boyer, whom he married in 1991 and his nephew
He will be missed.