Gene Wilder, popular actor, author, and director, died today at age 83. Appearing in a string of iconic films including The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, Wilder is undoubtedly best known for his starring role in the popular children’s film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
In a statement today on Facebook, Wilder’s nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman confirmed the news:
“It is with unbearable sadness and blues, but with spiritual gratitude for the life lived that I announce the passing of husband, parent and universal artist Gene Wilder,” Walker-Pearlman posted. it is almost unbearable for us to contemplate our life without him.”
Walker Pearlman added:
“though he’d been diagnosed 3 years ago with Alzheimer’s, he chose to keep it a secret. He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.”
Longtime friend, director Mel Brooks took to Twitter to express his condolences –
Gene Wilder-One of the truly great talents of our time. He blessed every film we did with his magic & he blessed me with his friendship.
— Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) August 29, 2016
Wilder died of complications due to Alzheimer’s disease, at his home in Stamford, CT. He is survived by his wife, Karen, whom he married in 1991, and a daughter from a previous marriage, Katherine.
Finally we leave you with this — Gene Wilder today has truly crossed over to that world of pure imagination. Enjoy!