Actor Gene Wilder, star of 'Willy Wonka', dies at 83

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Published 29.08.2016 22:54
American actor Gene Wilder (L) performs alongside compatriot Rolf Saxon, during the rehearsal of a scene from Neil Simon's 'Laughter on the 23rd Floor', in New York, October 2, 1996. (Reuters Photo)
American actor Gene Wilder (L) performs alongside compatriot Rolf Saxon, during the rehearsal of a scene from Neil Simon's 'Laughter on the 23rd Floor', in New York, October 2, 1996. (Reuters Photo)

Hollywood star Gene Wilder, who delighted audiences with his comic turns in "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" and several Mel Brooks classics including "Blazing Saddles" and "The Producers," died Monday at age 83, Variety magazine reported.

The weekly trade journal quoted his nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman as saying the actor died of complications from Alzheimer's disease at his home in Connecticut.

The frizzy-haired actor was a master at playing panicked characters caught up in schemes that only a madman such as Mel Brooks could devise, whether reviving a monster in "Young Frankenstein" or bilking Broadway in "The Producers."

But he also knew how to keep it cool as the boozy sheriff in "Blazing Saddles" and as the charming candy man in the children's favorite "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory."

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