The American actor Gene Wilder passed away this weekend at the age of 83. The comedy star, known for roles in classic movies like 'Blazing Saddles', 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory', 'The Producers' and 'Young Frankenstein', died on Sunday due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
His family confirmed the sad news, adding that the decision to keep his illness a secret was because Wilder 'simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world'.
Mel Brooks, who directed a number of Wilder’s movies, led tributes to the beloved star, sharing his sadness on social media.
'He blessed every film we did with his magic and he blessed me with his friendship,' the 90-year-old wrote.
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) 29 August 2016
More colleagues, friends and fans – from Jim Carrey and Ben Stiller to Ricky Gervais and Stephen Fry – were also quick to take to Twitter this morning, to pay tribute to the star.
Gene Wilder was one of the funniest and sweetest energies ever to take a human form. If there's a heaven he has a Golden Ticket. ;^)— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) August 29, 2016
Couldn’t be sadder about Gene Wilder. Soft, sweet and a genius. One of my heroes. Thanks for everything. RIP. https://t.co/nlUp32r8YS— Emma Kennedy (@EmmaKennedy) 30 August 2016
The great genius of comedy Gene Wilder passed today. RIP dear one. You are free to grace the heavens with your light that lifted us all— Goldie Hawn (@goldiehawn) 30 August 2016
Gene Wilder. What a true legend! R.I.P!— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) 30 August 2016
Gene Wilder. Best ever at what he did. #RIP— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) 30 August 2016
Gene Wilder,always giving us the Most!! R I P!!!— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) August 29, 2016
Goodbye, Gene Wilder. You were one of the great screen comedians. Original and surprising every time.— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) August 29, 2016
"Good Day Sir!"— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) 29 August 2016
RIP Gene Wilder
I saw Blazing Saddles 7 times at the cinema with my school friends . George St. Cows outside.— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) 29 August 2016
Gene Wilder you were a genius. Rest in Peace.
Gene Wilder was a giant of comedy. His legacy of films is inspiring. A true genius..— Billy Crystal (@BillyCrystal) 29 August 2016
RIP Gene Wilder. Only happy memories of making Sunday Lovers together.— Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) 29 August 2016
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