Gene Wilder, the star of many iconic comedies, has passed away at the age of 83. His lawyer Eric Weissann confirmed the news on Monday.
The man with a twinkle in his eye, was best known for collaborating with world reknown director Mel Brooks. He started in Brook’s breakout film “The Producers” in 1967 and went on to play in “Young Frankenstein” as well as “Blazing Saddles.”
One of the most memorable roles Wilder is known for is playing Willy Wonka in “Willy Wonky and the Chocolate Factory in 1971.
“He blessed every film we did with his magic and he blessed me with his friendship,” Brooks wrote.
According to his nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman, Wilder died due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease, a secret he had not disclosed with the public and fought for three years.
“He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world,” Walker-Pearlman said.