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Gene Wilder starred in classics such as Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles.

A statement from his family read: ‘The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him “there’s Willy Wonka”, would not have to be exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion.

‘He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.’

genewilderwillywonka1

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