Gene Wilder: Hollywood pays tribute to late ‘Willy Wonka’ actor

Stephen Fry, Billy Crystal and Kevin Smith all brand the late actor a "genius"

Hollywood has been paying tribute to Gene Wilder after learning of his death yesterday (August 29).

Wilder, loved by many for his starring roles in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Blazing Saddles, passed away at the age of 83 as a result of complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. He had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1989.

On Twitter, Russell Crowe wrote, “I saw Blazing Saddles 7 times at the cinema with my school friends,” while Stephen Fry, Kevin Smith and Billy Crystal all branded him a “genius”. Check out a selection of tweets below.

Wilder, known primarily as a comic actor, also starred in classic films such as Young Frankenstein and The Producers

Wilder frequently collaborated with writer and director Mel Brooks and stand-up comedian Richard Pryor. Brooks wrote on Twitter yesterday: “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.”

Wilder was twice Oscar-nominated, for his role in The Producers and for co-writing Young Frankenstein. He is survived by his fourth wife Karen Boyer, whom he married in 1991, and by his nephew.