LOS ANGELES -- Gene Wilder, the visceral, wild-haired comedic actor and also writer who played Willy Wonka and also starred in dozens of movies including the Mel Brooks classics Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, has actually died, his nephew shown in a declare Monday. He to be 83.

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Wilder passed away of symptom from Alzheimer"s in ~ his home in Stamford, Conn., follow to the statement from Jordan Walker-Pearlman. Wilder had chosen to keep his disease private, Walker-Pearlman said, due to the fact that he "simply couldn"t be affected by each other the idea the one less smile in the world."

Though he began out as a phase actor, Wilder"s break come in 1968 through the duty of Leo Bloom in The Producers, for which he to be nominated for a ideal Supporting actor Oscar.


Gene Wilder together Willy Wonka and also Peter Ostrum as Charlie Bucket ~ above the set of "Willy Wonka & the cacao Factory," in 1971.Credit: Silver display Collection/Getty Images

A couple of years later, the reluctantly take it the title role in Willy Wonka and also the cacao Factory, one of those transforms that the i of time -- through a tiny help indigenous the omnipresent "Condescending Wonka image -- have rendered every the an ext beloved.

Wilder was a constant collaborator v the best comedy psychic of his time, consisting of the so late Richard Pryor. Start with silver Streak, the two appeared in four movies together including Stir Crazy, check out No Evil, listen No Evil and also their 1991 reunion one more You.


Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor in "Silver Streak."Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

But it to be his relationship with Brooks -- which began via an arrival via Brooks" girlfriend, which eventually led come the Producers role -- that created what are widely considered the greatest comedy movies of every time. (In fact, in a Vanity same interview published just hours before news that Wilder"s fatality Monday, Brooks call Blazing Saddles the "funniest movie ever before made.")

Gene Wilder-One that the truly great talents of our time. He blessed every film us did through his magic & the blessed me v his friendship.

— Mel Brooks (
MelBrooks) august 29, 2016

On screen, Wilder well balanced a madcap, wild-eyed physicality v the feeling that he to be the smartest guy in the room -- aspects that often sparked off among his countless signature freak-outs. The was the chemical reaction that constantly made the unpredictable, a live-wire who was as ferocious together he was playful and also irreverent.

Wilder took a creating credit on ripe of his films, consisting of Young Frankenstein, however insisted in a 2013 interview -- among his last -- that he to be never lot of a comedian.

"I"m really not , other than in a comedy ... In films. Ns make my mam laugh when or twice in the house, but nothing special. Yet I don"t think I"m the funny. Ns think I can be in the movies," the said.

Wilder"s exhilaration career slowed down substantially in the late 1980s, i beg your pardon he mostly attributed come a direction in movies that he didn"t much care for.

"The swearing and the loud bombing ... Every when in little bit there"s a an excellent film, but not very many," Wilder sad during the 92nd Street Y interview. "If other comes along that"s yes, really good, and I"m an excellent for it, I"d carry out it. However not too numerous came along. A bunch came along for 15, 18 years, but then not also many."

Wilder"s nephew claimed that Alzheimer"s started to take host three years ago, yet that that retained much of his faculties till the end:


Wilder was married 4 times, consisting of to Saturday Night Live alum Gilda Radner, who passed away of ovarian cancer in 1989. That is endured by Karen Webb, a clinical supervisor who coached him on lip-reading because that his duty in check out No Evil, hear No Evil, and whom he married in 1991.


Gene Wilder in ~ the 2013 US open up with mam Karen Webb in 2013.Credit: Uri Schanker/WireImage

Walker-Pearlman"s explain concluded:


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