Legendary cinematic comedian, writer and director Gene Wilder passed away today at the age of 83. For generations of movie fans, the wild-haired Wilder is immortalized as the mysterious candy man in the family classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the subtly-crazed Dr. “Fraunkensteen” in Young Frankenstein and the Waco Kid in Blazing Saddles.
His most notable collaborations with filmmaker Mel Brooks (Blazing Saddles, The Producers and Young Frankenstein, among others) and with the late actor/comedian Richard Pryor (Silver Streak, Stir Crazy and See No Evil, Hear No Evil) spanned three decades and were box office gold. Wilder received an Oscar nomination for his supporting role in 1968’s The Producers (his first major role) and also an Academy Award nom for co-writing Young Frankenstein with Brooks.
If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Want to change the world...there's nothing to it
("Pure Imagination" sung by Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka)