Gene Wilder, best Wonka ever, dies aged 83.

Goodbye Willy Wonka. Actor Gene Wilder has sadly passed away at the age of 83 from Alzheimer’s disease (Gene was his stage name: he was actually born Jerome Silberman). Gene’s nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman passed on the news to us.

Gene’s first major role was as Leopold Bloom in the 1968 film The Producers for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. This was the first in a series of collaborations with writer/director Mel Brooks, including 1974’s Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, which Wilder co-wrote.

Gene Wilder was possibly best known for his portrayal of Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) and for his four films with Richard Pryor: Silver Streak (1976), Stir Crazy (1980), See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989), and Another You (1991).

Gene Wilder, best Wonka ever, dies aged 83.
Gene Wilder, best Wonka ever, dies aged 83.

We’ll see you over the chocolate rainbow bridge, Gene.


Colonel Frog is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves reading novels in the field, and he also enjoys watching movies (as well as reading lots of other genre books).

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