Wilder starred in “Willy Wonka” and other iconic comedies.
Gene Wilder, the star of classic comedies like “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” and several of Mel Brooks’ films, has died, his family told The Associated Press on Monday. He was 83.
His nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman said Wilder died late Sunday of complications from Alzheimer’s disease at his home in Stamford, Connecticut.
A statement from Wilder’s nephew said that the actor hadn’t disclosed his diagnosis to avoid upsetting his fans.
“The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him ‘there’s Willy Wonka,’ would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion,” Walker-Perlman’s statement read. “He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.”