It is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell to the great Gene Wilder. The star of so many memorable films from Blazing Saddles to his great collaborations with Richard Prior such as See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Stir Crazy. Wilder passed away at his Stamford Connecticut home today, following complications from Alzheimer’s. For most people he will be most remembered for playing Willy Wonka in 1971’s Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. A film and a performance that has transcended generations.
Despite his onscreen comic persona, Wilder was a private man who stepped back from the limelight following the tragic death of his third wife and beloved SNL star Gilda Radner in 1989. Following his loss Wilder became an active promoter of cancer awareness, work which still provides important services to this day through the Gilda’s Club organization he co-founded.
In addition to his film and Broadway career, Wilder published a number of books and he leaves behind him a legacy of entertainment that will be enjoyed and remembered for years to come.
“If the physical thing you’re doing is funny, you don’t have to act funny while doing it…Just be real and it will be funnier“. -Gene Wilder (1933-2016)