R.I.P. Gene Wilder

The one and only legendary Gene Wilder has died at the age of 83. Wilder passed away in his home earlier today from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease.

Wilder’s career spans so many cinematic classics its almost impossible to know where to start. His manic style and wild eyes brought joy to the likes of “The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “See No Evil, Hear No Evil,” “Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex,” “Hanky Panky” and “Stir Crazy,” died Monday at his home in Stamford, Conn. His nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman said he died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83.

His nephew had released the following statement:

“We understand for all the emotional and physical challenges this situation
presented we have been among the lucky ones — this illness-pirate, unlike in so many cases, never stole his ability to recognize those that were closest to him, nor took command of his central-gentle-life affirming core personality.

The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him ‘there’s Willy Wonka,’ would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion. He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.

He continued to enjoy art, music, and kissing with his leading lady of the last twenty-five years, Karen. He danced down a church aisle at a wedding as parent of the groom and ring bearer, held countless afternoon movie western marathons and delighted in the the company of beloved ones.”

Fellow comedy legend Mel Brooks also tweeted out a brief statement:

Wilder is survived by his fourth wife Karen Boyer, whom he married in 1991 and his nephew. His sister Corinne, died this past January.