Most of you will say “Huh? Who is that?” when you are asked who Gene Wilder is but if you are a regular social media user, you may have seen one really popular meme that was stemmed from his performance in a movie.
His well known performance as Willy Wonka in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory gave rise to this meme of a “condescending Willy Wonka” that has been used across social media for years now.
Gene sadly died yesterday at the age of 83 due to complications of Alzheimer’s and the news led to an immediate outpouring of emotion towards the late actor last night.
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) August 29, 2016
There was a statement from the family about his death.
Such a lovely, platitude-free statement on Gene Wilder. pic.twitter.com/thuYEFHKvz
— Stig Abell (@StigAbell) August 30, 2016
Several celebrities and regular people tweeted their tributes about the actor where they described him as a “great talent” or a “funny guy” and the likes.
Gene Wilder-One of the truly great talents of our time. He blessed every film we did with his magic & he blessed me with his friendship.
— Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) August 29, 2016
Heaven just got funnier
RIP #GeneWilder Heaven just got funnier…
— Jonathan Frakes (@jonathansfrakes) August 30, 2016
Some commented about his other role in the Producers
Gene Wilder will be so very missed. His performance in THE PRODUCERS is unforgettable. A truly great comedic actor. Always so truthful.
— David_Suchet (@David_Suchet) August 30, 2016
A true legend
Gene Wilder. What a true legend! R.I.P!
— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) August 30, 2016
"Good Day Sir!"
RIP Gene Wilder
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) August 29, 2016
Gene was a big part of their childhood memories as indicated by some people’s tributes.
R.I.P to the incomparable Gene Wilder. You filled so many childhoods, mine included, with wonder, laughter & joy. Thank you.
— Zelda Williams (@zeldawilliams) August 29, 2016
Young Frankenstein, Silver Streak, Willy Wonka, Blazing Saddles, Stir Crazy: Gene Wilder, you were my youth! RIP ❤️ pic.twitter.com/zK0v4d70gh
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) August 29, 2016
Gene Wilder: the man responsible for my absolute favorite monologue in film history. Rest in peace. Thank you for the memories.
— Ryan Scott Graham (@RyanScottGraham) August 30, 2016
RIP Gene Wilder . Thanks for the memories.
— Mrs ShannonTSimmons (@shannonleetweed) August 29, 2016
Gene Wilder was one of the funniest and sweetest energies ever to take a human form. If there's a heaven he has a Golden Ticket. ;^)
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) August 29, 2016
This is not the first celebrity death this year as we have experienced the death of the famous singers David Bowie and Prince as well as the famous British actor Alan Rickman. Their deaths broke Twitter literally and it shows how effective Twitter is in delivering breaking news. In the case of Gene Wilder, the younger generation will most likely know him as the guy we always use as a meme when we are about to become condescending to someone on social media.