An acting great

Comedy legend Gene Wilder passes away aged 83
By Joey Levenson | Film+TV | 30 August 2016
Above:

Still, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), dir. Mel Stuart

Top Image: Still, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), dir. Mel Stuart

As if 2016 is destined to be forever cursed, another legend has been taken from us. Gene Wilder passed away on Monday night at the age of 83 from complications surrounding his Alzheimer’s disease.

Wilder was a tour de force in the comic world, and is looked upon as a Hollywood giant in the film industry. His iconic role as Willy Wonka transcended generations, touching the childhoods of parents, and their children alike. Wilder’s sharp wit was second to none, his ability to create simultaneous laughter and sympathy is fitting for the man who worked his way up from working class Russian-Jewish immigrants to becoming Mel Brooks’ favourite muse.

Gallery: Gene Wilder

GALLERY

Wilder began his film career in 1967 with Bonnie & Clyde, and broke through with Mel Brooks’ The Producers. From then on, he and the director continued to team up, resulting in some of Wilder’s most iconic and memorable roles. Atop of his collaboration with Brooks, Wilder also often paired up with longtime friend and stand-up legend Richard Pryor, with the two starring in four films together. Wilder’s last film role came from Another You in 1991, and his last appearance on screen was his recurring guest role on NBC’s Will & Grace at the early turn of the century.

On stage or in the movies I could do whatever I wanted to. I was free.

Gene Wilder (1933–2016)

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