Actor Gene Wilder dead at 83


wilder
American actor Gene Wilder (L) performs alongside compatriot Rolf Saxon, October 2, during the rehearsal of a scene from Neil Simon's 'Laughter on the 23rd Floor'.

Actor Gene Wilder, best known for his role in the fantasy film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” and comedic star turns in such Mel Brooks farces as “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein,” died on Monday at age 83, his family said in a statement.

Wilder, an often frantic presence in some of the funniest movies of the 1970s and ’80s with his kinky curls and startled blue eyes, succumbed to complications from Alzheimer’s disease, which he had battled privately for the past three years, the statement said.

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