Hollywood loses another acting legend today.
Gene Wilder, who starred in many amazing films such as The Producers, Young Frankenstein and of course Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, died this morning in his Connecticut home, according to his family.
“It is with indescribable sadness and blues, but with spiritual gratitude for the life lived that I announce the passing of husband, parent, and universal artist Gene Wilder,” nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman said in a statement. “It is almost unbearable for us to contemplate our life without him.”
Wilder was struggling with Alzheimer’s for three years.
He was 83-years-old.
The actor was nominated for two Oscars over his long career.
He first got his start on Broadway in 1961, starring in Roots.
But it was his performance in the 1963 production of Brecht’s Mother Courage that grabbed the attention of director Mel Brooks, who later helped Wilder move to the big screen.
“Gene Wilder—One of the truly great talents of our time,” Mel shared on Twitter after learning of his passing. “He blessed every film we did with his magic & he blessed me with his friendship.”
Wilder is survived by his fourth wife, Karen Boyer, and his nephew.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family.