Gene Wilder, 83, died Sunday in Connecticut after battling Alzheimer's disease. The actor was known for his roles in "Blazing Saddles," "Young Frankenstein" and "Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory."

Wilder's longtime collaborator Mel Brooks tweeted that he was "one of the truly great talents of our time," adding that "he blessed every film we did with his magic" and "blessed me with his friendship." But Wilder's eerie, magical performance in "Willy Wonka" of the song "Pure Imagination" might be the moment that will haunt audiences for years.

The tune begins as Willy Wonka opens the doors to his Chocolate Room in the original film adaptation. As his visitors stroll along the banks of a chocolate river, he sings: "Come with me, and you’ll be, in a world of pure imagination. Take a look, and you’ll see, into your imagination."

The song has been used for years to promote brands including AT&T, MasterCard and Lenovo looking to sell consumers on innovation. It's also been covered by hundreds of artists, including Lou Rawls, Maroon 5 and Fiona Apple.

Wilder's ruthless portrayal of the driven candy man was praised by critics. "It’s interesting. They wanted Fred Astaire, and I thought he was too old and too elegant," director Mel Stuart told the Los Angeles Times in 2011 of the casting decision. "Then they wanted Joel Grey, who is a great actor, but he wasn’t tall enough. And he didn’t have the majesty that you needed for Wonka. We cast Gene at the Plaza Hotel in New York. Gene walked in and read a few lines from the book. He walked out of the room, and I [told executive producer David Wolper], 'Dave, he is Wonka. We got to have him.' I raced to the elevator and I said, 'Gene, you’ve  got the part.'"

The lyrics to "Pure Imagination" are below:

"Come with me and you'll be 

In a world of pure imagination 

Take a look and you'll see 

Into your imagination 

We'll begin with a spin

Trav'ling in the world of my creation

What we'll see will defy

Explanation

If you want to view paradise

Simply look around and view it

Anything you want to, do it

Want to change the world, there's nothing to it

There is no life I know

To compare with pure imagination

Living there, you'll be free

If you truly wish to be

If you want to view paradise

Simply look around and view it

Anything you want to, do it

Want to change the world, there's nothing to it



There is no life I know

To compare with pure imagination

Living there, you'll be free

If you truly wish to be."