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Tributes Pour In For Gene Wilder Who Has Died Aged 83


Gene Wilder Mel Brooks Jim Carrey Steve Martin Sarah Silverman

Tributes have poured in for actor and writer Gene Wilder who has died aged 83. Wilder’s death was announced by his family on Monday, who revealed he had been secretly battling Alzheimer’s for three years. After news of his passing broke, friends, colleagues and fellow comedians paid tribute on social media, with many referencing his most famous role as Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Gene WilderGene Wilder (pictured with Mel Brooks) has died aged 83

Mel Brooks, who directed Wilder in comedies Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, lead the tributes on Twitter, saying the actor and writer had ‘ blessed’ him with his friendship. “One of the truly great talents of our time,” Brooks wrote. “He blessed every film we did with his magic & he blessed me with his friendship.”

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The Younger Members Of The Willy Wonka Cast Reunite On The Today Show


Peter Ostrum Gene Wilder

Well, that's something we never thought we'd see. A good chunk of the cast from the original 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' have reunited for the movie's 44th anniversary during an appearance on the 'Today' show. It's rather mind-boggling to see how they've all changed.

Gene WilderGene Wilder couldn't make it to the celebrations

The 1971 film, adapted from the 1964 Roald Dahl story 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', was a huge, Oscar nominated sensation directed by Mel Stuart and starring Gene Wilder and Peter Ostrum. Unfortunately, 82-year-old Wilder wasn't around to enjoy the celebrations yesterday (November 11th 2015), but Ostrum, who played Charlie, was joined by the other four 'children' Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt), Denise Nickerson (Violet Beauregarde), Paris Themmen (Mike Teevee) and Michael Bollner (Augustus Gloop).

Continue reading: The Younger Members Of The Willy Wonka Cast Reunite On The Today Show

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Musical Debuts In West End


Sam Mendes Douglas Hodge Johnny Depp Gene Wilder Sophie Dahl

When Sam Mendes first decided to adapt Roald Dahl's 49 year-old best loved children's book about an eccentric chocolate maker and one very lucky little boy, he hadn't anticipated the scale or scope of his Charlie And The Chocolate Factory production - or the time it would take to come to fruition.

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory has been brought to life on a large scale before: 1971's film saw Gene Wilder bring his unconventional and volatile incarnation of the mad professor of confectionery in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, whereas a Tim Burton movie kickstarted the franchise again in 2005 with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that saw Johnny Depp on truly bizarre form.

Now, the legend has been brought to the West End by Skyfall director Sam Mendes, who also has a host of strong musicals under his belt, including Oliver! (1994) and Cabaret (1994). The Guardian hails the modern adaptation of Dahl's moral fable as a "sumptuous visual feast" and praises the effective "engaging and sinister" portrayal of Wonka by Douglas Hodge. Young Jack Costello's "adorable" performance as Charlie is lauded by The Independent, along with the band of entitled and greedy golden ticket-winning brats who accompany Charlie on the trip of a lifetime.

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Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971) Review


Essential
When you're a kid, candy is a dream: a fluffy white cloud of chocolate joy. For adults, candy is poison, a fat filled brick of love handles, pimples, and excessive flatulants. But, Willy Wonka, despite being a film about sugar-tooth delights, brings joy to adult and child alike.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory stars Gene Wilder as Wonka himself, in an 70's adaptation of the popular children's book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Willy Wonka tells the story of a poverty-stricken boy on a fantastic voyage through the magical candy factories of the Willy Wonka Candy Company. A strange and fantastic place, filled with dancing midget Oompa Loompas and chocolates with powers far beyond those of common Hershey bars.

Continue reading: Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971) Review

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