Beloved actor Gene Wilder died on Monday, August 29, 2016, at his home in Stamford, Connecticut.
Wilder was 83 years old. He is survived by his fourth wife Karen Boyer and nephew.
His nephew said it was due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. In a released statement, his nephew continues: “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.”
Wilder began his career on stage then moved to the big screen by the 1960’s. By 1971, he filled the shoes of Willy Wonka who says “a little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.”
He entertained audiences with more than a “little nonsense” on screen in films like The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and many others. By 2003, he turned his attention to writing, publishing his memoir and several fiction stories.
He will be greatly missed.