Actor Gene Wilder dies aged 83
You’ll no doubt remember him from his starring role in the 1971 film classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but sadly actor Gene Wildman who played Willy Wonka has died. The American passed away aged 83 at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, after a complication with Alzheimer’s.
Wilder also starred in many comedy classics including Blazing Saddles, The Producers, Stir Crazy and Young Frankenstein. As the Metro Online reports, a family statement has been issued from his nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman who said he passed away “holding our hands with the same tenderness and love he exhibited as long as I can remember”.
He went on: “As our hands clutched and he performed one last breath the music speaker, which was set to random, began to blare out one of his favourites: Ella Fitzgerald. There is a picture of he and Ella meeting at a London bistro some years ago that are among each our cherished possessions. She was singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow as he was taken away.” Tributes have been paid from fellow comedians of stage and screen. Stephen Fry said on Twitter: “Farewell Gene Wilder, comic genius. Thank you for all those happy happy hours.”
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