Gene Wilder has died at 83 years old, and celebrity fans around the world are expressing their grief at the loss of the ‘Willy Wonka’ icon. Mel Brooks, John Cena, Gilbert Gottfried and more have taken to Twitter to share tons of heartfelt messages about the actor, and you can see them all right here.
Gene Wilder‘s nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman, confirmed today, Aug. 29, that Gene died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, and he will definitely be missed. His peers immediately tweeted their condolences, mourning the loss by sharing their thoughts and favorite quotes of his. As Uzo Aduba put it beautifully: “The genius, the talent, the actor, the original, the artist, the storyteller, the creative, the iconic, the great, great, great Gene Wilder.”
Check out more celebrity tweets below:
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.
— Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) August 29, 2016
I just read my Willy Wonka passed away. #RIPower Gene Wilder
— Freddie Prinze Jr (@RealFPJr) August 29, 2016
The genius, the talent, the actor, the original, the artist, the storyteller, the creative, the iconic, the great, great, great Gene Wilder.
— Uzo Aduba (@UzoAduba) August 29, 2016
— Taran Killam (@TaranKillam) August 29, 2016
RIP to a true original and one of the all time greats Gene Wilder. I loved him. https://t.co/RdupcfKk7V
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) August 29, 2016
I saw Blazing Saddles 7 times at the cinema with my school friends . George St. Cows outside.
Gene Wilder you were a genius. Rest in Peace.
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) August 29, 2016
— John Cena (@JohnCena) August 29, 2016
A post shared by Jamie Lee Curtis (@curtisleejamie) on
Gene’s nephew said in a statement, “We understand for all the emotional and physical challenges this situation presented we have been among the lucky ones — this illness-pirate, unlike in so many cases, never stole his ability to recognize those that were closest to him, nor took command of his central-gentle-life affirming core personality.” So heartbreaking. “He continued to enjoy art, music, and kissing with his leading lady of the last twenty-five years, Karen,” Jordan added. “He danced down a church aisle at a wedding as parent of the groom and ring bearer, held countless afternoon movie western marathons and delighted in the the company of beloved ones.” RIP.
Gene portrayed the original Willy Wonka in the 1971 film, and was a mainstay in Mel Brooks comedies. He starred in Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles and The Producers, plus countless other amazing movies over the course of his incredible career.
HollywoodLifers, please leave your thoughts for Gene’s friends and family in the comments below, and tell us what your favorite role of Gene’s was.