Legendary Willy Wonka actor Gene Wilder has died at the age of 83.
The star of countless comedy movies which rank among some of the greatest of all time, passed away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease, according to news reports.
It is a sad day for fans of Wilder and movies in general. As a small and in no way adequate tribute for such a great of the industry, The Weekly Review has put together some of our favourite Gene Wilder moments from across the years.
He may be gone but he will continue to bring us joy for many years to come. As he said in arguably his most famous role, Willy Wonka: “Time is a precious thing. Never waste it.”
Let’s face it, Gene Wilder’s portrayal of Willy Wonka is one of the greatest performances of all time. Simultaneously zany, intense and heartfelt, can you really picture anyone else playing that role? (Yes, we know someone did, but we shall not speak of it here.) The ‘Good day, sir’ scene in Willy Wonka still haunts anyone who saw the movie as a child. Amazing.
The 1974 film Blazing Saddles was a trailblazer in more ways than one, satirising the racism of the traditional western. Gene’s portrayal of the Waco Kid (a gunman with a bit of a drinking problem) was a standout in the Mel Brooks directed film.
Will and Grace
Gene Wilder’s 2002 appearance in sitcom Will & Grace confirmed you don’t lose something as precious as comedic timing. Gene played Will Truman’s boss Mr Stein – an eccentric character who stole the show.
Another Gene Wilder/Mel Brooks collaboration. featuring very basic slapstick and innuendo but the delivery is perfect. The running joke about Igor’s (moving) hump and the silly pronunciation of their names still makes us laugh.
The Woman in Red
This 1984 comedy was directed by Gene Wilder. This scene where he calls the woman in red for a date – priceless.
We’ll leave you with one more from our all-time fave, Willy Wonka. As Gene says: if you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it.