Gene Wilder, the frizzy-haired actor who brought his deft comedic touch to such unforgettable roles as the neurotic accountant in The Producers and the mad scientist of Young Frankenstein, has died. He was 83.
Tributes from peers and admirers poured in Monday, after Wilder died due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
“Gene Wilder, one of the truly great talents of our time, is gone. He blessed every film we did together with his special magic and he blessed my life with his friendship. He will be so missed.” --- Director Mel Brooks in a statement
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
Wilder started his acting career on the stage, but millions knew him from his work in the movies, especially his collaborations with Mel Brooks on The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. The last film - with Wilder playing a California-born descendant of the mad scientist, insisting that his name is pronounced “Frahn-ken-SHTEEN” - was co-written by Brooks and Wilder and earned the pair an Oscar nomination for adapted screenplay.
“Goodbye, Gene Wilder. You were one of the great screen comedians. Original and surprising every time.” ---Comedian and actor Steve Martin said on Twitter
Goodbye, Gene Wilder. You were one of the great screen comedians. Original and surprising every time.— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) August 29, 2016
Carl Reiner, the legendary filmmaker and comedian suggested everyone familiarise themselves with the work of Gene Wilder.
Billy Crystal, actor in classic comedies When Harry met Sally and City Slickers acknowledged Wilder’s genius on Twitter
Gene Wilder was a giant of comedy. His legacy of films is inspiring. A true genius..— Billy Crystal (@BillyCrystal) August 29, 2016
“Gene Wilder was one of the funniest and sweetest energies ever to take a human form. If there’s a heaven he has a Golden Ticket,” said actor Jim Carrey on Twitter. Carrey is a famous comedian and actor, known for his roles in blockbuster films from the late ‘90s to the early 2000s.
Gene Wilder was one of the funniest and sweetest energies ever to take a human form. If there's a heaven he has a Golden Ticket. ;^)— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) August 29, 2016
Director Edgar Wright, known for his Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy said on Twitter
A moment of silence for the master of the comedic pause.— edgarwright (@edgarwright) August 29, 2016
Gene Wilder: funny doing something & funny doing nothing. pic.twitter.com/d5iySZVll6
Comedian Ricky Gervais, used a Wilder quote on Twitter
"Good Day Sir!"— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) August 29, 2016
RIP Gene Wilder
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, or, The Academy also paid tribute on Twitter
Thank you Gene Wilder for all that you've given us. You'll be missed. pic.twitter.com/JU4GngwjqV— The Academy (@TheAcademy) August 29, 2016
Actress Debra Messing, known for her work on TV, said on Twitter
A man who lit up the world with his joy and genius. I can't say what it meant to act with him and get to know his heart. ❤️RIP #GeneWilder— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) August 29, 2016
Actor Jason Alexander, most famous for his role as George Costanza in the iconic sitcom Seinfeld, said on Twitter
Gene Wilder touched my life, my heart and my funny bone with his unique and genius work. May he rest with peace and joy. #gene wilder— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) August 29, 2016
Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe, though not known for his comedic roles, noted Wilder’s influence
I saw Blazing Saddles 7 times at the cinema with my school friends . George St. Cows outside.— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) August 29, 2016
Gene Wilder you were a genius. Rest in Peace.
Comedic actor and presenter Stephen Fry said on Twitter.
Film Critic Leonard Maltin thanked Wilder for all the laughs he’s brought over the years
Gene Wilder. Bless you for all these years of laughter and love, such warmth and humanity. Thank you, thank you, thank you #GeneWilder— Leonard Maltin (@leonardmaltin) August 29, 2016
“GENE WILDER, the face of childhood joy for many a generation, has passed. Farewell, sweet genius. Gilda awaits you,” said director of such cult comedies like Clerks and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, Kevin Smith on Twitter, about Wilder’s wife Gilda.
GENE WILDER, the face of childhood joy for many a generation, has passed. Farewell, sweet genius. Gilda awaits you. https://t.co/pybXNFlGaq— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) August 29, 2016
Actor Alan Tudyk, who will soon be seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story spoke about Wilder’s acting prowess on Twitter
Gene Wilder acted at a different frequency than any other. He was always a moment away from tenderness or hysteria. What an original.— alan tudyk (@AlanTudyk) August 29, 2016
Even singer/songwriter Josh Groban thanked Wilder for the influence he has had on his career
Thank you Gene Wilder for the wonderful, the weird, the pure imagination. One of my greatest heroes. 🎩— josh groban (@joshgroban) August 29, 2016
Actor Rob Lowe called Wilder one of his heroes on Twitter
Gene Wilder as one of my earliest heroes. Blazing Saddles, Willy Wonka, are CLINICS on comic acting. Sad to hear of his passing.— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) August 29, 2016
Actress Uzo Aduba, known for her role as Crazy Eyes on TV’s Orange is the New Black wrote a heartfelt message on Twitter
The genius, the talent, the actor, the original, the artist, the storyteller, the creative, the iconic, the great, great, great Gene Wilder.— Uzo Aduba (@UzoAduba) August 29, 2016
“Some of the hardest laughs in my life were sparked by Gene Wilder,” said Scrubs actor Donald Faison on Twitter.
Some of the hardest laughs in my life were sparked by Gene Wilder.— Donald Faison (@donald_faison) August 30, 2016
The provocative comedian Sarah Silverman paid respects on Twitter.
Hilarious & heartbreaking in the very same moment. #RIP beautiful Gene Wilder there was & will never be anyone like you— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) August 29, 2016
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, known for playing Elaine on Seinfeld and the Selina Meyer on Veep thanked Wilder for all the joy he’s brought to the world.
Even Kermit the Frog wrote a funny, yet touching message on Twitter.
I’ll miss our great funny friend Gene Wilder, who forever blazed new comedy trails... and saddles.— Kermit the Frog (@KermitTheFrog) August 29, 2016
Comedian Patton Oswalt, noting the talent we’ve lost in 2016, was justifiably angry on Twitter.
Good job maintaining your shittiness, 2016. https://t.co/vRo3mC9du6— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) August 29, 2016
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