National 30.8.2016 10:35 am

Hollywood loses iconic ‘Willy Wonka’ Gene Wilder

Gene Wilder. Picture: George Herald.

Gene Wilder. Picture: George Herald.

Wilder might be best remembered as Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Gene Wilder, 83, who brought a wild-eyed desperation to a series of memorable and iconic comedy roles in the 1970s and 1980s, has died, said his lawyer Eric Weissmann.

Wilder died due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease, which he struggled with for three years, his nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman said in a statement to CNN, George Herald reported.

Wilder is best known for his collaborations with director Mel Brooks, starring as the stressed-out Leo Bloom in Brooks’ breakout 1967 film The Producers, and later in the monster movie spoof Young Frankenstein.

He also portrayed a boozing gunslinger in Blazing Saddles.

For many people, Wilder might be best remembered as Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, playing the mysterious candy tycoon in the 1971 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book.
In a statement to CNN on Monday, Brooks called Wilder “one of the truly great talents of our time”.
– Caxton News Service

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