Gene Wilder, revered for nuanced comedic performances in films like “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Young Frankenstein,” has died.
He was 83 years old.
Wilder’s performance as Willy Wonka might be the most visible of his roles – from the condescending memes to the clips of his performance on YouTube (some watched millions of times), Wilder’s Wonka captured the imagination of kids and adults for decades.
But it was Wilder’s comedic timing and stage roots that helped him flourish in other roles, especially when paired with writer-director Mel Brooks. “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein” and “The Producers” are among the classic comedies of the past 60 years, and Brooks – who worked with Wilder on all of them – sent out this heartfelt tweet Monday.
He also worked with comedian Richard Pryor multiple times, the Chicago Tribune says, including “Silver Streak” and ”See No Evil, Hear No Evil.”
He got into acting in 1961, when he first landed roles on both Broadway and off-Broadway, the Tribune says.
Wilder was twice nominated for an Oscar, though never won. He was born in Milwaukee.
Here, we leave you with one of his most famous scenes – good day, sir.