Gene Wilder, who brought a wild-eyed desperation to a series of memorable and iconic comedy roles in the 1970s and 1980s, has died, his lawyer, Eric Weissmann, said.
Gene Wilder, star of ‘Willy Wonka,’ dead at 83
He was 83.
Wilder is best known for his collaborations with director Mel Brooks, starring as the stressed-out Leo Bloom in Brooks’ breakout 1967 film “The Producers” and later in the monster movie spoof “Young Frankenstein.” He also portrayed a boozing gunslinger in “Blazing Saddles.”
For many people, Wilder might be best remembered for “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” playing the mysterious candy tycoon in the 1971 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book.
In a statement to CNN on Monday, Brooks called Wilder “one of the truly great talents of our time.”
“He blessed every film we did with his magic and he blessed me with his friendship,” Brooks wrote.