Gene Wilder, Incomparable Comic Icon & ‘Willy Wonka’ Star, Dead At 83

Jeff Taylor

Gene Wilder

Gene Wilder, star of movies “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory,” “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein,” has died at the age of 83.

Wilder’s nephew told the AP on Monday that he passed away late Sunday night in Stamford, Connecticut due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

The two-time Oscar nominee was born Jerry Silberman in Milwaukee and started studying acting at 13. His career began on the stage, where he met Mel Brooks while costarring in a Broadway production with his wife, Anne Bancroft. Their partnership was productive and legendary.

He began directing and writing in the mid-to-late 1980s, although he would always be more successful as an actor. His acting career was mostly finished by the early 1990s.

He moved to painting and writing books later in life. He is survived by his fourth wife, Karen Boyer.

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