The passing of Pure Imagination: Gene Wilder dies at age 83
A part of our childhood died today. Gene Wilder, star of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, passed away at his Connecticut home of complications from AlzHeimer’s disease, Variety reports. He was 83.
Though Mr. Wilder’s work is multi-generational, he’s beloved by the ‘80s generation for pre-decade classics such as Willy Wonka, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and The Producers. During the ‘80s, he gave us Stir Crazy, Hanky Panky, The Woman in Red, Haunted Honeymoon and See No Evil, Hear No Evil.
I’ll always remember Mr. Wilder for two movies: Stir Crazy, the first R-rated film I ever snuck into (and was quickly kicked out of) and Willy Wonka, particularly the scene were he softly sings Pure Imagination. So beautiful and so sad at the same time.
A lot of words will be written in the coming week about the comedic brilliance of Gene Wilder and absolutely none of it will be overstated. He was one of the great ones. An no-so-everyday hero. He gave us “pure imagination.” And he will be missed.