BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

Fans React To Death Of "Willy Wonka" Star Gene Wilder

The actor gave unforgettable performances that showcased his comedic chops and unexpected vulnerability.

Posted on August 29, 2016, at 5:09 p.m. ET

After family announced actor Gene Wilder had died at age 83, fans remembered his unique humor and loving performances that inspired "pure imagination."

Jessica Hill / AP

He was an unforgettable — and somewhat unsettling — fixture of a generation of children.

So sad. I remember watching this on TV when I was... four? I was terrified, and mesmerized. RIP, Gene Wilder.

His lines in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory proved to be especially memorable.

"We are the music-makers and we are the dreamers of dreams." RIP #GeneWilder, the real #WillyWonka 🍬🍭🍫🍬🍭🍫

Thanks for giving us the gift of pure imagination. #GeneWilder

"So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you." Willy Wonka has died. https://t.co/LVIQCBjF0e

No matter the role, Wilder could draw a laugh or make a point with simple body language.

Loved Gene Wilder's considerably nuanced roll as a chasidic rabbi on The Frisco Kid. May his memory be a blessing.

It was almost too hard to pick a favorite moment.

Oh noooooo. I tried to think of the perfect Gene Wilder moment, but there are too many. I need Twitter to be longer. https://t.co/fCNP3ZPqfn

There were the movies he made with Richard Pryor, who died in 2005.

Welp...Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder are chillin together now. #RIP

Others remembered the real-life love story between Wilder and Gilda Radner, cut short by her death of cancer in 1989.

His seemingly effortless comedy was the result of careful consideration.

This note by Gene Wilder is one of the most telling artifacts of his brilliance.

And his eccentric style gave life to LGBT fans.

RIP Gene Wilder. Willy Wonka is a gay icon: an eccentric fop who quotes Oscar Wilde and serves devastating shade.

It was a blend of vulnerability and hysteria that made him special.

Seriously: What did Gene Wilder have and why does no one else have it? emotional vulnerability + touch of madness + insane comic timing

Who else could take anxiety and paranoia to such dark and uproarious places and still come across as an innocent puppy in need of a hug?

RIP to a man of nonsense and wisdom.

Paramount Pictures / Via giphy.com

ADVERTISEMENT