- Publish Date
- Tuesday, 30 August 2016, 7:49AM
Gene Wilder, the star of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, has passed away at the age of 83.
He also starred in comedy classics like Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles.
Wilder's nephew said the actor and writer died earlier this month in Stamford, Connecticut from complications from Alzheimer's disease.
The actor was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1989.
Gene Wilder in 2005.
The frizzy-haired actor was a master at playing panicked characters caught up in schemes that only a madman such as Mel Brooks could devise, whether reviving a monster in Young Frankenstein or bilking Broadway in The Producers.
But he also knew how to keep it cool as the boozy sheriff in Blazing Saddles and as the charming candy man in the children's favorite Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Tributes quickly started flooding Twitter after the news spread.
Putting on a movie with Gene Wilder was always a guaranteed good time. Always a smile on my face. Thank you Gene.— Bill Slane (@bill_slane) August 29, 2016
- NZ Herald