Lawmakers mourn Gene Wilder’s death

Multiple members of Congress on Monday voiced sorrow following the news that actor Gene Wilder had died.

The star of beloved films including "Young Frankenstein" and "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" was 83.


Wilder died late Sunday at his home in Stamford, Conn., following complications from Alzheimer’s disease, The Associated Press said Monday.

Jordan Walker-Pearlman, Wilder’s nephew, said Monday the Hollywood star was diagnosed with the illness three years ago but kept it private so as not to sadden fans.

“He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world,” Walker-Pearlman said in a statement.

The AP said Wilder, a Milwaukee native, was born Jerome Silberman on June 11, 1935.

Though his career began on the stage, he solidified his fame with a string of hit films under director Mel Brooks, including “Blazing Saddles” and “The Producers,” which earned Wilder an Academy Award nomination.

Wilder married comedic actress Gilda Radner in 1984, ultimately co-starring with her in two films he also directed. Radner died of ovarian cancer in 1989. 

Wilder remarried in 1991 and is survived by his wife, Karen.