Actress Cloris Leachman issued a statement about the death of “Young Frankenstein” co-star Gene Wilder, who died from Alzheimer’s disease Sunday. He was 83 years old.
Leachman, 90, fondly remembered the actor, who starred in classic films like “Blazing Saddles” and “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”
“Gene was in a class by himself,” her exclusive statement to People Magazine read Monday. “I looked up to him yet on the set he was just one of us. I remember when we were shooting ‘Young Frankenstein’ there was a scene where I had to get the group up the stairs immediately. I had to say, ‘Shtay close to zee candles’ and turn toward him. As I turned around I could see his face was in two pieces. We had to do our scenes 14 times over because he’d be laughing so hard. Alas…alas… So, dear Gene, I vill say, Goodnight.”
Leachman wasn’t the only celebrity to mourn Wilder. Scores of famous people took to Twitter to pay their respects to the comedy giant.
Most notably, director Mel Brooks, issued a statement about Wilder. The two worked on numerous films during Wilder’s career, including “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein.”
He tweeted: "Gene Wilder- One of the truly great talents of our time. He blessed every film we did with his magic and he blessed me with his friendship." The post was liked more than 120,000 times and shared nearly 70,000 times by Brooks’ 184,000 followers.
Comedian Billy Crystal described Wilder as a as "a giant of comedy," adding: "His legacy of films is inspiring. A true genius." Actor Steve Martin wrote: Goodbye, Gene Wilder. You were one of the great screen comedians. Original and surprising every time.”
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