Willy Wonka star Gene Wilder dies, aged 83

Tributes have been pouring in for acting legend Gene Wilder, who died on Sunday, aged 83.

Gene Wilder, the star of such comedy classics as Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles, has died. He was 83.

Wilder’s nephew said the actor and writer died late on Sunday in Stamford, Connecticut, from complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

Gene Wilder (Yui Mok/PA)
Gene Wilder (Yui Mok/PA)

The frizzy-haired actor was a master at playing panicked characters caught up in schemes that only a madman such as Mel Brooks could devise, whether reviving a monster in Young Frankenstein or bilking Broadway in The Producers.

But he also knew how to keep it cool as the boozy sheriff in Blazing Saddles and as the charming candy man in the children’s favourite Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory.

Director Mel Brooks – who worked with Wilder on many projects – led the tributes on Twitter.

Stephen Fry, Ricky Gervais and Dara O Briain were also among those writing heartfelt messages.

Many Hollywood stars also tweeted after hearing the sad news.


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