By Jon Wiederhorn
Gene Wilder, who died yesterday due to Alzheimer’s complications at the age of 83, was more than a skilled actor and a brilliant comic. He was also a talented singer. And though he never displayed that talent in a band, he made significant musical contributions to several great films, which explains why artists from a variety of genres have posted their thoughts about Wilder on social media.
One of his best roles was Willy Wonka in the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Wilder sings throughout the psychedelic musical, most memorably in “Pure Imagination.” Wilder also lent his vocal talents to a couple of classic Mel Brooks films; he did the monster song and dance number “Puttin’ on the Ritz” in Young Frankenstein and performed in the outrageous “Springtime For Hitler” in the original version of The Producers.
“He blessed every film we did with his magic and he blessed me with his friendship,” posted Brooks.
Here are some of the other artist comments:
gene wilder i love you with all my heart—
Flea (@flea333) August 29, 2016
Gene Wilder-One of the truly great talents of our time. He blessed every film we did with his magic & he blessed me with his friendship.—
Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) August 29, 2016
Gene Wilder was such a HUGE part of my childhood!!! Thanks for everything Gene! You made a massive difference to millions.—
Dave Navarro (@DaveNavarro) August 29, 2016
Goodbye, Gene Wilder. You were one of the great screen comedians. Original and surprising every time.—
Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) August 29, 2016
Tom Morello (@tmorello) August 29, 2016
So sad to hear about Gene Wilder passing. We've been watching this all weekend. He brought so much joy and thought. https://t.co/dIJGE4hdhJ—
Lisa Loeb (@LisaLoeb) August 29, 2016
@MissMargoPrice Don't forget about the time he fell in love with a sheep, in "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex..."—
Tyrone Walden (@TyroneWalden) August 30, 2016
No, Gene Wilder. No. Well...OK If u must Love you. The man, not the meme Maybe it's best u leave with the rest of the legends in 2016. RIP—
Sage Francis (@SageFrancis) August 29, 2016
I saw Blazing Saddles 7 times at the cinema with my school friends . George St. Cows outside. Gene Wilder you were a genius. Rest in Peace.—
Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) August 29, 2016