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'Willy Wonka' star Gene Wilder dead at 83

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Gene Wilder, an actor and comedic icon best known for his roles in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," "Young Frankenstein" and "The Producers" has died. He was 83. 

Wilder's nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman told Variety that Wilder died at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, from complications with Alzheimer's disease. 

Wilder was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1989.

He was born Jerome Silberman on June 11, 1933, and later took his stage name from the playwright Thorton Wilder, according to The Washington Post. His first name came from the main character of Thomas Wolfe's novel "Look Homeward, Angel." 


Wilder began studying acting at the age of 12 and after getting his bachelor's of art from the University of Iowa in 1955, he went on to spend a year at Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, England.

During his career, Wilder played everything from a hilarious mad scientist in "Young Frankenstein" to the iconic candy maker in "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory." 

Wilder stopped making movie appearances in 1991, but periodically acted on television, according to the Washington Post. 

He is survived by his fourth wife Karen Boyer and his nephew.

For more news, check out today's 60 Second Circa. 

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