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Gene Wilder, Star of 'WILLY WONKA', Mel Brooks Films and More, Dies at 83

Gene Wilder, star of WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY - which will soon grace Broadway in a new musical adaptation - and Mel Brooks films such as THE PRODUCERS, BLAZING SADDLES and YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, died today, August 29, from COMPLICATIONS of Alzheimer's disease. He was 83.

Wilder was nominated twice for an Oscar: Once for portraying 'Leopold Bloom' opposite Zero Mostel as 'Max Bialystock' in THE PRODUCERS; the second time for co-writing YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN with Brooks.

The actor also won an Emmy Award for his guest role on the TV sitcom "Will & Grace." He also appeared in the 1966 TV version of DEATH OF A SALESMAN, and as 'The Fox' in Stanley Donen's 1974 musical version of THE LITTLE PRINCE.

Onstage, Wilder launched his career in Off-Broadway's ROOTS, and after that, appeared in THE COMPLAISANT LOVER on Broadway. He went on to star in Broadway's MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, THE WHITE HOUSE and LUV.

His and Brooks's musical adaptation of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN hit the stage in 2007.

We'll leave you with his beautiful rendition of "Pure Imagination" from 1971's WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. Rest in peace.

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