Tuesday, 30 August 2016

In Memorium: Gene Wilder 1933-2016

2016 continues to wage its vicious war against beloved stars with the sad news today that Gene Wilder has passed at age 83. He had been suffering from Alzheimers.

Many might only know him as the fun but enigmatic Willy Wonka, or perhaps from his work with Mel Brooks in The Producers, Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles, but the late great comic, actor, writer and director's career spanned over five decades. 

Wilder first appeared as Eugene Grizzard in 1967's Bonnie and Clyde, and the very next year picked up a leading role in the classic comedy The Producers, along with his first Academy Award nomination. In 1971 he took Roald Dahl's most famous character to the silver screen with his memorable, unrepeatable performance in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory which has spawned a cult following and worthy place in meme culture in the decades since. In 1974 he worked again with Brooks on both Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, two extremely different roles that he made his own, and that you couldn't possibly imagine anybody else as. 

Rest in Peace Mr Wilder, there's no earthly way of knowing, which direction you are going - but wherever that is, we salute you.

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