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Lakewood Times

    Gene Wilder Passes Away at the Age of 83


    The legendary Gene Wilder has passed away  at age 83.

    Wilder was an American comic actor in film and theater, screenwriter, film director, and author. He was best known for his role in the classic 1971 film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” as Willy Wonka.

    He has played a role in over 30 films and television shows, won 2 awards, and nominated for 4 other awards. The 2 awards Gene Wilder has won were the Clarence Derwent Award and the Primetime Emmy Award. Some other famous movies he was in were “Blazing Saddles” as Jim, the Waco kid, “Young Frankenstein” as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, and “Bonnie and Clyde” as Eugene Grizzard.

    Wilder died at age 83 on August 29, 2016 at his home in Stanford, Connecticut, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He kept his condition private, but was diagnosed 3 years prior to his death.

    According to his family, Wilder died peacefully while holding hands with his wife and listening to his favorite music. Wilder’s wife is Karen Boyer, which he met while the movie “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” was being filmed, as Wilder played the deaf character Dave Lyons.

    Wilder’s real name is Jerome Silberman, but he is known professionally as Gene Wilder. He began his career on stage, and made his debut in an episode of the TV series “The Play of the Week” in 1961. Although Wilder’s first film role was in the 1967 motion picture “Bonnie and Clyde” where he played a hostage, Wilder’s first major role was in the 1968 film “The Producers” for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

    In this day an age, most people will remember him for playing the character Willy Wonka, as “Willy Wonka & Chocolate Factory” is a very famous movie icon still today. There was even a remake of that movie in 2005 as Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka.

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