To say that Gene Wilder’s death is shocking is an understatement. He starred in some of the most influential comedies of a generation, and fans are distraught that Willy Wonka, Dr. Frankenstein, and Leo Bloom are gone. Click through to see their Twitter tributes.
Gene Wilder died at the age of 83 on August 28, after a lengthy, secret battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The legendary comedian didn’t reveal he had the degenerative disease, according to his nephew, because he wanted the children who saw “Willy Wonka” on the street to only have happy memories of him. He wanted to make people smile until his very last breath.
His fans had been worried for quite some time that something was wrong with the beloved actor, after he was seen looking incredibly frail in 2015. But news of his death, made public on August 29 through a statement from his family, threw his fans into a tailspin. His passing was a complete surprise, and so they took to Twitter to express their grief and shock:
Willy Wonka has always been and will forever be one of my all time favourite ways to escape the real world. Sleep Well Gene Wilder
— Terri ✌ (@PandaPooooo) August 29, 2016
— Matteo Pansa (@Cmdr_Cody) August 29, 2016
Gene Wilder died and if that doesn't upset you then get tf out my face because I'm very sad here
— Dylan Schmidt (@DylanSchmidt3) August 29, 2016
Thanks for all the laughs Gene Wilder 😢 pic.twitter.com/BUZPyaEbcc
— Amanda: XenaWonk (@awalter313) August 29, 2016
Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Willy Wonka, See No Evil Hear No Evil
Seriously, the word legend doesn't cut it. Goodbye Gene Wilder
— Matt Blair (@themattblair) August 29, 2016
This is so unfathomably sad! Gene was one of the most talented comedians of all time, starring in films like” Bonnie & Clyde, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, The Frisco Kid, Hanky Panky, and See No Evil, Hear No Evil.
Celebrities mourned Gene’s death as well, taking to Twitter to pay tribute to the legend. His frequent collaborator, fellow comedy god Mel Brooks, kept it short and sweet, calling Gene one of the “all-time greats,” and thanked him for the blessing of his friendship. Comedians like Adam Scott, Billy Eichner, and Gilbert Gottfried also paid their condolences, acknowledging the influence he had on their careers. RIP, Gene.
HollywoodLifers, help us pay tribute to the late, great Gene in the comments!