2016 has been a tough, tough year. Not only have we said goodbye to pioneering musicians like David Bowie and Prince, we've also lost some titans of the acting world like Alan Rickman and Garry Shandling. Today comes news that we've lost another one of the greats, as Gene Wilder has passed away at the age of 83.
If you were a child of the 70s and early 80s, Gene Wilder was one of the biggest stars in the world. The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, if there was a classic comedy from that era, chances are, Wilder had a hand in it. Even some of his lesser known films like The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother and The Frisco Kid are classics in my house.
Combining the wisdom and warmth of an old soul, with a brilliant ability to lose his shit at any given moment, Wilder was unlike anyone in the industry. His charm carried him through more than a few duds late in his career, until he did the unthinkable—in Hollywood terms, anyway—and simply retired from the limelight. While he kept active, he never attained the levels of fame he had earlier in his life.
A late bloomer, Wilder didn't make his big screen debut until he was well into his 30s, appearing in a brilliant scene from 1967's Bonnie and Clyde. His work over the next twenty years, however, would rival even the most prolific actors and writers around. Almost everything he did was worth watching, even when the films didn't rise to the level of its star.
Gene Wilder is a legend, whose star will only glow brighter as we move into the future. This is a huge loss for the film world, and I just thank goodness he left behind such an impressive body of work. He may belong to the ages now, but he'll never die so long as we encourage our children to watch great movies. Rest in peace, good sir. You were truly one of a kind! Enjoy some of his greatest moments below...
And today I like to imagine that he and Madeline Kahn and Marty Feldman are doing an encore of this one...
Photo Credit: FameFlynet