Mel Brooks, Jim Carrey Remember Gene Wilder: 'If There's a Heaven He Has a Golden Ticket'
Hollywood is mourning the passing of Gene Wilder, who died Monday of complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
As news of the 83-year-old actor's death broke, his colleagues and those he influenced over the last five decades praised his wit, humor and body of work.
His longtime friend and director, Mel Brooks, who guided him in some of his most iconic roles in films such as Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles, took to Twitter to eulogize the comedian.
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
Brooks will be in New York City Thursday for a special screening of Blazing Saddles at Radio City Music Hall, and will take questions from the audience following the film. The event, planned prior to Wilder's death, will now carry a heavy poignancy.
Funnyman Jim Carrey may have had the most touching tribute of all to the Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory actor.
Gene Wilder was one of the funniest and sweetest energies ever to take a human form. If there's a heaven he has a Golden Ticket. ;^)— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) August 29, 2016
Actor Russell Crowe took to Twitter to boast about how much he loved Blazing Saddles and its profound influence on him.
I saw Blazing Saddles 7 times at the cinema with my school friends . George St. Cows outside.— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) August 29, 2016
Gene Wilder you were a genius. Rest in Peace.
Sarah Silverman called his passing “a very sad moment.”
Hilarious & heartbreaking in the very same moment. #RIP beautiful Gene Wilder there was & will never be anyone like you— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) August 29, 2016
Institutions like the Golden Globes and Oscars paid tribute to Wilder on social media.
Thank you Gene Wilder for all that you've given us. You'll be missed. pic.twitter.com/JU4GngwjqV— The Academy (@TheAcademy) August 29, 2016
Chris Rock took to Instagram and posted a photo of Wilder in Blazing Saddles, saying: “Willy Wonka was a great movie but blazing saddles is the best thing he ever did. He will be missed.”
Margaret Cho called him “a comedy legend who changed the world and brightened a room even through a screen.”
Shock rocker Marilyn Manson, who has often used Willy Wonka references in his act over the years, paid a touching tribute to Wilder on Instagram, saying “my heart is sore. Gene Wilder, my childhood wouldn’t have existed without you.”
Guitarist Tom Morello said he recently watched Willy Wonka with his children and “was reawakened to his charm and comic genius.”
A massive tribute to the actor came from a farmer in England who created an incredible maze in Willy Wonka's likeness in a corn field.
#YorkMaze paid a wonderful tribute to #WillyWonka star #GeneWilder by carving this incredible maze. The famous tourist attraction posted on Facebook: “We are so sad to hear of the passing of Gene Wilder, the original and only Willy Wonka. You will live forevermore in our hearts, and for another 7 days in our corn!!” 🍃🌿🌟💕 #TributeToALegend #England #HelloPakistan