The news of Wilder’s death was shared by his family last night. The actor’s nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman, shared the following statement:
“It is with indescribable sadness and blues, but with spiritual gratitude for the life lived that I announce the passing of husband, parents and universal artist Gene Wilder at his home in Stamford, Connecticut.
“It is almost unbearable for us to contemplate our life without him.
“We understand all the emotional and physical challenges this situation presented we have been among the lucky ones – this illness-pirate, unlike in so many cases, never stole his ability to recognise those that were closest to him, nor took command of his central-gentle-life affirming core personality.
“The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him “there’s Willy Wonka,” would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion.
“He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.”