Click to download Tribute to His Majesty PDF

Live Phuket The Phuket News The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News
The Phuket News World News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

‘Willy Wonka’ star Gene Wilder dead at 83

UNITED STATES: Gene Wilder, who delighted audiences with his comic turns in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and Mel Brooks classics including “Blazing Saddles” and “The Producers,” died Monday at age 83.



Tuesday 30 August 2016, 09:29AM

Gene Wilder, pictured in Deauville in 1984, reportedly died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease at his home in Connecticut. Photo: Mychele Daniau/AFP
Gene Wilder, pictured in Deauville in 1984, reportedly died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease at his home in Connecticut. Photo: Mychele Daniau/AFP

His nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman said the actor died of complications from Alzheimer’s, holding hands with family members and taking his last breath as Ella Fitzgerald’s “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” played on a speaker. 

“It is with indescribable sadness and blues, but with spiritual gratitude for the life lived, that I announce the passing of husband, parent and universal artist Gene Wilder, at his home in Stamford, Connecticut,” Walker-Pearlman said in a statement.

“It is almost unbearable for us to contemplate our life without him.”

Wilder, whose third wife Gilda Radner died of ovarian cancer, was treated for lymphoma in 2000 and had worked only sporadically since.

He was acclaimed for his turn as The Waco Kid in Brooks’s third film, the spoof Western and box office smash “Blazing Saddles”.

The 1974 movie shot down the myths perpetuated about the American West, pouring light on closeted racism, but it is also stacked full of gags and is often listed among critics’ top 10 comedy films.

Brooks and Wilder joined forces on their Oscar-nominated script for the director’s next film, “Young Frankenstein,” which poked fun at the Universal horror pictures of the 1930s.

“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,” Brooks said on Twitter.

The Milwaukee native, known for his impeccable timing and frizzy hair, got his break in the 1961 off-Broadway production of Arnold Wesker’s “Roots” and followed with his Broadway debut as the comic valet in Graham Greene’s “The Complaisant Lover”.

His other Broadway credits include “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1963), alongside Kirk Douglas, and a production of “Mother Courage and Her Children” a year later, in which he co-starred with Anne Bancroft. 

Bancroft was dating Brooks – her future husband – and introduced the pair, who hit it off immediately.

The director showed Wilder an early script entitled “Springtime for Hitler,” which would eventually become “The Producers”. 

Wilder won the first of his two Oscar nominations for his portrayal of Leopold Bloom in the film – his first major role.

It was however his portrayal of eccentric candy impresario Willy Wonka in the 1971 musical fantasy based on Roald Dahl’s 1964 book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” that turned him into a superstar.

Wilder co-starred with Richard Pryor in several movies including the train-murder comedy “Silver Streak” (1976) and in “Stir Crazy” (1980). 

“Forever a great comedy film duo Dad and #GeneWilder RIP,” Pryor’s daughter Rain Pryor tweeted.

His last major role was in a TV film version of “Alice in Wonderland” in the late 1990s, which also starred Ben Kingsley and Martin Short.

Born on June 11, 1933, Wilder spent his formative years trying to keep up the spirits of his ailing mother, who had a heart attack when he was just six and died 17 years later. His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant who imported alcohol bottles.

He developed a love for acting when he played Willy Loman in a high school adaptation of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in theatre.

Wilder, whose real name was Jerome Silberman, studied at the Old Vic School in Bristol, England, becoming a talented fencer, and spent some time in the US Army before committing to acting.

In September 1991, Wilder married his fourth wife Karen, a lip-reading coach. 

In 1997 he guest-starred on two episodes of NBC’s “Will and Grace,” winning an Emmy Award for outstanding guest actor on a comedy series for his role as Mr Stein, Will Truman’s boss.

Walker-Pearlman said Wilder’s Alzheimer’s, which he had kept private, “never stole his ability to recognise those that were closest to him, nor took command of his central-gentle-life affirming core personality.”

“He continued to enjoy art, music, and kissing with his leading lady of the last 25 years, Karen. He danced down a church aisle at a wedding as parent of the groom and ring bearer, held countless afternoon movie western marathons and delighted in the company of beloved ones,” he added.



The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments

Staffer shot in leg at Phuket shooting range

hahaha, if this press report is correct than it is just funny thai. Tourists, due to a very rainy day not go to beach. What else shall we do? Oh, we...(Read More)

Phuket Governor wants face recognition technology, eight lane checkpoint

You guys, just dont understand Thailand. They will build 8 lanes so every car has to stop,get out of the car and step in front of a plastic policeman...(Read More)

Staffer shot in leg at Phuket shooting range

Why on earth, if the reporter is correct as to what is said to have happened, would Mr. Hamed be considered for charges. Mr Chaiyasit, presumably an ...(Read More)

Phuket Governor wants face recognition technology, eight lane checkpoint

The proposed approximate budget for this scheme of B100 million seems a ridiculous amount to pay for something that just can't work. As Kurt says ...(Read More)

Illegal Chinese tour guide arrested in Phuket

bigasail33, Thank you! Nooo, politics are here much of the time 'self patting' or cloud skating. But being in politics pays fantastic for a...(Read More)

Illegal Chinese tour guide arrested in Phuket

Kurt , you are fantastic! You should be in politic's you have a solution for everything, KURT for Tja what??? Horst ...(Read More)

Phuket Governor wants face recognition technology, eight lane checkpoint

Skeptical, you wrote a good comment. Exactly my thinking as well. Point is that thai officials sometimes go public with what they like/go to do ( sho...(Read More)

Phuket Governor has mind set on 100 per cent virgin beaches

swerv: With just a bit self discipline you are able to ignore my comments. You must be a masochist? I dunno. It are your words. Back to your react...(Read More)

Phuket Governor wants face recognition technology, eight lane checkpoint

Hark!! What that? The plastic life sized replica of a policeman wasn't doing his job?? At least he actually manned his post and wasn't in the...(Read More)

American woman in complaint dispute over Thai neighbor's early-morning roosters

Yes Ted, Here's an update- Apparently Mr. Rooster didn't pay his rent and got evicted!! The coop, which was actually intended to be a cock fig...(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
Weird World
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2016 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.