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Beloved writer, director, and actor Gene Wilder died Aug. 28 from complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83. The comedy icon and two-time Oscar nominee got his breakout role in the 1971 classic Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, and his fruitful partnerships with Mel Brooks in the late ‘60s and ‘70s (The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein) and Richard Pryor into the ‘80s (Silver Streak, Stir Crazy, See No Evil, Hear No Evil) made him a comedy legend. Following the death of his third wife, Saturday Night Live alumna Gilda Radner, whom he lost to ovarian cancer in 1989, Wilder became an activist for cancer awareness and founded the national cancer support group Gilda’s Club. His last onscreen appearance was an Emmy-winning role in Will & Grace in 2003, and in recent years, he devoted much of his energy to writing books.
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