“Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination” -Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Jerome Silberman (known professionally as Gene Wilder) passed away today at the age of 83. While most of us remember him as Willy Wonka from the 1971 film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Wilder was much more than that.
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Wilder was a comedic genius who starred in over 30 films and also wrote a few books. He produced an autobiography, Kiss Me Like a Stranger My Search for Love and Art in 2005, and has authored other titles such as The Woman Who Wouldn’t and What Is This Thing Called Love?.
He made viewers cry with joy in such memorable roles as Leo Bloom in The Producers, Jim in Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein. Mel Brooks, who directed all of these films and was a close friend of Wilder’s, eulogized Wilder as talented actor and wonderful friend in a twitter post.
He will live forever in our childhood memories, as well as our adult dark-comedy memories.
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