The Associated Press reports that the family of Gene Wilder, star of film favorites such as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, has announced the actor has died at the age of 83.
Wilder was born June 11, 1933 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and studied drama at the University of Iowa and then attended the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. After a lengthy time on the stage, he made his feature film debut in 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde and was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in Mel Brooks’ The Producers that same year. He would go on to star in two other high profile Brooks films, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein (for which he was also nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award with Brooks).
Wilder also dabbled in directing, helming four features, including The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, The World’s Greatest Lover, The Woman in Red, and Haunted Honeymoon. He also went on to form an on-screen partnership with fellow comedian Richard Pryor, starring in Silver Streak, Stir Crazy, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Another You together over the course of 15 years.
The actor wrote several books, including his 2005 biography, Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art, but also several novels with his most recent being 2013’s Something to Remember You By. Wilder penned a book titled Gilda’s Disease: Sharing Personal Experiences and a Medical Perspective on Ovarian Cancer, a work in remembrance of his third wide Gilda Radner whom he met filming 1982’s Hanky Panky.
Wilder’s nephew announced the news today that the actor died late Sunday in Stamford, Connecticut from complications from Alzheimer’s disease.