He was 83.
Wilder is best known for his collaborations with director Mel Brooks, starring as the stressed-out Leo Bloom in Brooks' breakout 1967 film "The Producers," and later in the monster movie spoof "Young Frankenstein." He also portrayed a boozing gunslinger in "Blazing Saddles."
For many people, Wilder might be best remembered for "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," playing the mysterious candy tycoon in the 1971 adaptation of Roald Dahl's book.
In a statement to CNN on Monday, Brooks called Wilder "one of the truly great talents of our time."
"He blessed every film we did with his magic and he blessed me with his friendship," Brooks wrote.
- Gene Wilder has died, his lawyer confirms to CNN
- The actor, who played the title role in 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,' was 83
Wilder chose not to disclose his illness, the statement added.
"He simply couldn't bear the idea of one less smile in the world," Walker-Pearlman said.