Movie Director Mel Brooks Talks Gene Wilder On The Tonight Show

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Gene Wilder, the actor best known for his role as Willy Wonka in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” died Monday at age 83.

Longtime friend and colleague Mel Brooks joined Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show Tuesday night to reflect on Wilder’s life with funny memories of the actor he worked with on “The Producers”, “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein”.

“He was such a dear friend,” Brooks said about Wilder. “I expected he would go,”  Brooks added, “I don’t know, when it happens, it’s still tremendous. It’s still, it’s a big shock.”

Brooks reminisced about his work with Wilder, telling Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon some funny and touching stories from their time together.

“I’m still reeling from no more Gene,” Brooks said. “He was such a wonderful part of my life.”

Wilder was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and treated with radiation in 1989. (RELATED: Gene Wilder–Actor Who Played Willy Wonka–Dies At 83)

Here’s a brief clip of Wilder’s acting excellence from “Blazing Saddles”: