Wilder is perhaps best known for his role as Willy Wonka in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, but his comedic talent was illuminated in the Mel Brooks films Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. He was married to comedian Gilda Radner from 1984 until her death from ovarian cancer in 1989, and he co-founded the support group Gilda’s Club.
On Twitter, comedians, writers, and actors shared their condolences and favorite memories.
"Good Day Sir!"
RIP Gene Wilder
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) August 29, 2016
A brief moment to appreciate Gene Wilder's two minute side project as the best horror actor who ever lived. https://t.co/j9c1TyIUEc
— Kaleb Horton (@kalebhorton) August 29, 2016
First Gene Wilder encounter for me: Luv, on Broadway. Who is THIS guy? Soon we all knew. One of the best. RIP.
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) August 29, 2016
Gene Wilder was a master at comic hysteria, but it takes about three or four different shades in this scene. R.I.P. https://t.co/gRUs4LXA2X
— Scott Tobias (@scott_tobias) August 29, 2016
A moment of silence for the master of the comedic pause.
Gene Wilder: funny doing something & funny doing nothing. pic.twitter.com/d5iySZVll6
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) August 29, 2016
Gene Wilder-One of the truly great talents of our time. He blessed every film we did with his magic & he blessed me with his friendship.
— Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) August 29, 2016
Great funny reaction.
You'll be missed Gene Wilder.https://t.co/HQqoiuAJOe
— Arnie Niekamp (@misterarnie) August 29, 2016
Wilder’s nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman, said in a statement that he died from complications due to Alzheimer’s: “We understand for all the emotional and physical challenges this situation presented we have been among the lucky ones—this illness-pirate, unlike in so many cases, never stole his ability to recognize those that were closest to him, nor took command of his central-gentle-life affirming core personality.”
Here’s the entire statement:
Here's the full statement from Gene Wilder's family regarding his death: pic.twitter.com/oGv1TsiCX5
— Austin Hunt (@AustinHunt) August 29, 2016