Not people may remember, but before Johnny Depp became the face of Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, that position had belonged to Gene Wilder.
The actor and comedian was wildly famous in the 70s and was in films such as “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “The Producers” and “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask.”
And while younger audiences might not know any of those movies they at least knew Wilder in another capacity; the meme.
The time of emergence of the meme is unknown but it slowly made its way into social consciousness and is today one of the most popular memes in the world.
According to Mr. Wilder’s nephew, the actor died on Sunday in Stamford, Connecticut, due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
The star first made waves on Broadway before transitioning to the silver screen for a brief role as a kidnapped undertaker in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).
He will always be remembered though for his portrayal of Willy Wonka in the first Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
His death came as a shock to many and they were quick to give their condolences on social media.