- Celebrities paid tribute to ‘Willy Wonka’ Gene Wilder
- The Hollywood superstar had been secretly battling Alzheimer’s for the last three years
- The actor succumbed to the illness at the age of 83 years old
Celebrities paid tribute to Gene Wilder, the actor who brought Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, after he succumbed to complications from Alzheimer’s disease inside his home in Stamford, Connecticut.
In a Youtube video, E! News presented some of his fellow celebrities’ posts about his death.
On Tuesday, August 30, the family of the Hollywood superstar — who had been secretly battling Alzheimer’s for the last three years — announced that he has joined the Creator at the age of 83 years old.
“It is with indescribable sadness and blues, but with spiritual gratitude for the life lived that I announce the passing of husband, parent, and universal artist Gene Wilder, at his home in Stamford, Connecticut. It is almost unbearable for us to contemplate our life without him. The cause was complications from Alzheimer’s Disease with which he co-existed for the last three years,” his nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman said in a statement.
Walker-Pearlman said the actor had chosen to keep his Alzheimer’s secret so that children who knew him as Willy Wonka would not know that the character they loved is sick.
“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. He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world,” the relative added.
Aside from starring in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Wilder was also known for roles in The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and Stir Crazy.
Meanwhile, he is survived by Karen, Jordan, and the Webbs (Kevin, Gretchen, Tucker, Spencer), along with Jordan’s wife, Elizabeth.
Watch the compilation of the posts made by celebrities after finding out that “Willy Wonka” is already dead: