Saying Goodbye to Willy Wonka


Randi Goldman, Staff Writer

Gene Wilder was born as Jerome Silberman on June 11th, 1933  to his father William J. Silberman and mother Jeanne Baer Silberman. Wilder, who was a director, stage actor, and screen play actor, passed away early on Monday, August 29th in Stanford, Connecticut. He is survived  by his daughter, who he was set at odds with, and Karen Wilder, his fourth wife. The famous comedic actor was 83, and had been suffering from alzheimer’s disease for 3 years. According to Jordan Walker-Pearlman, Gene Wilder’s nephew, Wilder chose not to disclose his illness in order to contain children’s exposure to him during his illness. Wilder’s nephew claimed that Wilder couldn’t stand the thought that one child would be upset because of his disease.

Wilder starred in  a broadway production called ‘The Complaisant Lover’, a witty, comedic production that resulted in him receiving  the Clarence Derwent award, which is given to “promising newcomers”.  Wilder also starred in movies like ‘Young Frankenstein’, where he played the role of Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, and created a monster. He also starred in movies like ‘Bonnie And Clyde’, ‘The Producers’, and ‘The Adventure Of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother’.

Wilder is best known by millennials for his lead role in ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’. Wilder played Willy Wonka, the owner of a huge, magical candy factory. Wonka decides to re-open his factory to 5 lucky children, who have the chance to inherit his factory. Throughout this film, it is shown that the factory was created as a type of rebellion against Wonka’s father, who  is a dentist that doesn’t allow Willy to consume candy. However, Wonka grows fond of a good-natured, but poor boy named Charlie Bucket who convinces Wonka to visit his estranged father.

Many are mourning the death of  Gene Wilder. When asked about Wilder’s death, a senior named Samantha Surajbally said, “it’s really heartbreaking, he was truly an icon”.