Another great actor has passed.

Gene Wilder, who played Willy Wonka in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (1971), has died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83.

Source: Altdaily
Source: Altdaily

Jordan Walker-Pearlman, the actor’s nephew, said that Wilder passed away peacefully on Sunday (28th August) and that he had lived with Alzheimer’s for the last 3 years.


“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,” the family statement continued.

Source: musinetclasico's Twitter
Source: musinetclasico’s Twitter

Throughout his career, Wilder was a frequent collaborator of Mel Brooks and has earned several award nominations, including “Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy” at the 1976 Golden Globe Award and “Writing Adapted Screenplay” at the 1974 Academy Award. He was married to well-known comedian Gilda Radner, who died from ovarian cancer in 1989.

Upon hearing the tragic news, some of Wilder’s famous friends and the people who admired him and his work have taken to social media to mourn the actor. See their heartfelt tweets here:

Rest in peace, Gene Wilder. You’ll always be the only Willy Wonka in our hearts. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends, and loved ones during this difficult time.

We’ll leave you now with his most memorable Willy Wonka song, “Pure Imagination”:

Sources: BBC, People.

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