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Fans pay tribute to Wonka star Gene Wilder, dead at 83

By Catherine Wylie

Published 30/08/2016

Publicity photo of Gene Wilder for film Start the Revolution Without Me (1970), also known as Two Times Two
Publicity photo of Gene Wilder for film Start the Revolution Without Me (1970), also known as Two Times Two
Actor Gene Wilder, known for his roles in The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and many other films, died of complications from Alzheimers disease August 29, 2016 at his home in Stamford, Connecticut. He was 83. London June 07: Actor Gene Wilder poses as he signs copies of his autobiography "Kiss Me Like A Stranger", at Waterstone's, Oxford Street on June 7, 2005 in London, England. The memoirs give an insight into Wilder's failed love life, his experiences of working with stars such as Richard Pryor and Woody Allen, his fight with, and victory over, cancer, and his time in the UK studying acting at the Bristol Old Vic. (Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images)
FILE - AUGUST 29: Actor Gene Wilder, known for his roles in The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and many other films, died of complications from Alzheimers disease August 29, 2016 at his home in Stamford, Connecticut. He was 83. NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 05: Gene Wilder and his wife Karen Boyer watch as Shahar Peer of Israel takes on Anna Chakvetadze of Russia during day ten of the 2007 U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2007 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
File photo dated 02/10/1996 of Gene Wilder as Max Prince during rehearsals for Neil Simon's "Laughter of the 23rd Floor", at Queen's Theatre in London as the actor has died aged 83, his family said. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday August 29, 2016. See PA story DEATH Wilder. Photo credit should read: PA Wire
File photo dated 07/06/2005 of actor Gene Wilder who has has died aged 83, his family said. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday August 29, 2016. See PA story DEATH Wilder. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
File photo dated 06/06/1996 of actor Gene Wilder who has has died aged 83, his family said. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday August 29, 2016. See PA story DEATH Wilder. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire
File photo dated 06/06/2005 of actor Gene Wilder who has has died aged 83, his family said. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday August 29, 2016. See PA story DEATH Wilder. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
(FILES) This file photo taken on September 07, 2013 shows actor Gene Wilder watching Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic play against Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka during their 2013 US Open men's semifinals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. 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 August 29, 2016 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. / AFP PHOTO / EMMANUEL DUNANDEMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
(FILES) This file photo taken on September 7, 1984 shows US actor and director Gene Wilder poses with his wife Gilda Radner, during the 10th American Film Festival of Deauville. 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 August 29, 2016 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. / AFP PHOTO / Mychele DANIAUMYCHELE DANIAU/AFP/Getty Images
FILE - AUGUST 29: Actor Gene Wilder, known for his roles in The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and many other films, died of complications from Alzheimers disease August 29, 2016 at his home in Stamford, Connecticut. He was 83. NEW YORK - MARCH 15: Gene Wilder signs a copy of his new book "My French Whore" at Barnes & Noble, March 15, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
FILE - In this March 16, 2005 file photo, actor Gene Wilder speaks about his life and career at Boston University in Boston. Wilder, who starred in such film classics as "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and "Young Frankenstein" has died. He was 83. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
FILE - AUGUST 29: Actor Gene Wilder, known for his roles in The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and many other films, died of complications from Alzheimers disease August 29, 2016 at his home in Stamford, Connecticut. He was 83. WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 17: Actor and author Gene Wilder autographs copies of his new book 'The Woman Who Wouldn't' at Barnes & Noble Bookstore at The Grove on March 17, 2008 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images)
(FILES) This file photo taken on September 7, 1984 shows US actor and director Gene Wilder of the movie "The Woman in Red" during the 10th American Film Festival of Deauville. 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 August 29, 2016 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. / AFP PHOTO / Mychele DANIAUMYCHELE DANIAU/AFP/Getty Images

Willy Wonka star Gene Wilder has died, aged 83.

The Hollywood actor, known for roles in comedy classics such as Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles, has been hailed a "comic genius" and one of the "great talents" of his generation.

Wilder's nephew said he died earlier this month in Stamford, Connecticut, having suffered from Alzheimer's disease, the Associated Press reported.

His friend Mel Brooks, who directed The Producers, the classic comedy in which Wilder starred, said on Twitter: "Gene Wilder - One of the truly great talents of our time. He blessed every film we did with his magic & he blessed me with his friendship."

Comedian and presenter Dara O Briain tweeted: "Gene Wilder has died. Sad news, but such a life well-lived. For me, Young Frankenstein just pips Wonka, but so many wonderful performances.

"Expecting to hear people were fans of Blazing Saddles, Producers and Stir Crazy, but amazing number going for See No Evil, Hear No Evil."

Stephen Fry tweeted: "Farewell #GeneWilder, comic genius. Thank you for all those happy, happy hours."

Like many others, comedian Ricky Gervais picked up on one of Wilder's famous lines as Wonka, and said, simply: "Good Day Sir! RIP Gene Wilder"

One of Wilder's best-known films was Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, in which he played Roald Dahl's enchanting and slightly sinister candy man.

Actor Zach Braff posted a short clip from the Willy Wonka film and wrote: "RIP to the legendary Gene Wilder. 2016 has been painful so far."

This year has seen a long list of celebrity deaths, including David Bowie, Ronnie Corbett and Victoria Wood.

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