Writers, actors, directors, and entertainers of every stripe have taken to Twitter to mourn comic great Gene Wilder, who passed away yesterday from complications resulting from Alzheimer's disease at the age of 83.
According to a statement provided to KRCRTV.com and other media outlets by his nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman, Wilder went peacefully, surrounded by friends and family.
"He was eighty-three and passed holding our hands with the same tenderness and love he exhibited as long as I can remember. As our hands clutched and he performed one last breath the music speaker, which was set to random, began to bare out one of his favorites: Ella Fitzgerald. There is a picture of he and Ella meeting at a London bistro some years ago that are among each our cherished possessions. She was singing 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow,' as he was taken away."
The statement ends with a line from 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, in which Wilder portrayed the reclusive, purple-jacketed candy-maker.
"We are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams."