The world mourned the death of actor Gene Wilder, whose comic genius is indelibly burned into our collective consciousness in films like Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and The Producers.
He died at the age of 83 due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. I can’t fathom Gene Wilder as being elderly or demented. He will always be the guy with crazy hair who embodied an amazing gift of making us laugh in his movie roles.
Take for example, this scene from Young Frankenstein (a movie my husband and I quote from frequently):
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According to Access Hollywood, he has been cremated per his wishes. A memorial service for close friends may be held in New York or Los Angeles in the future.
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Gene Wilder, who established himself as one of America’s foremost comic actors with his delightfully neurotic performances in three films directed by Mel Brooks; his eccentric star turn in the family classic “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”; and his winning chemistry with Richard Pryor in the box-office smash “Stir Crazy,” died early Monday morning at his home in Stamford, Conn. He was 83.
The comic actor, who was twice Oscar nominated, for his role in “The Producers” and for co-penning “Young Frankenstein” with Mel Brooks, usually portrayed a neurotic who veered between total hysteria and dewy-eyed tenderness. “My quiet exterior used to be a mask for hysteria,” he told Time magazine in 1970. “After seven years of analysis, it just became a habit.”
After more than 50 years in show business, the frizzy-headed comic actor Gene Wilder, who has died aged 83, was most associated with his second film part, that of Leo Bloom, the hyperneurotic accountant in Mel Brooks’s comedy The Producers (1967). The Oscar-nominated role established Wilder’s screen persona – an initially well-balanced individual transformed by even the most minor crisis into a whining bundle of nerves.
May he rest in peace. He’s got a Golden Ticket through the gates of Heaven.