June 11th, 1933 – August 29th, 2016, 83 years old
The American film and theater comic actor, screenwriter, film director and author Gene Wilder (real name: Jerome Silberman) died at home in Stamford, Connecticut, from complications of Alzheimer's disease.
Photo by Caroline Bonarde Ucci, licensed under CC BY 3.0
Gene Wilder is known for his portrayal of Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971). After his last contribution to acting in 2003 – a guest role on Will & Grace for which he received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor – Wilder turned his attention to writing.
Wilder had been diagnosed with Alzheimer in 2013 but he decided to keep his health condition private, partially to avoid upsetting his younger fans. According to his family, Gene Wilder died while listening to one of his favorite songs, a rendition of "Over the Rainbow" sung by Ella Fitzgerald.