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: