Wilder was someone I looked up to not only as an artist (actor and writer), but as a person. I only knew how he was perceived in public--not personally--but that image he portrayed in public was a man to aspire to (behind only my father, grandfather, and a few others in my life).
The effects of Alzheimer's had Wilder leading a largely private life for the last fifteen years or so, but he was always spoken and thought of with fond esteem.
Some of the earliest movies I remember watching have Wilder in them. Movies that I have enjoyed multiple of viewings over the years: Stir Crazy, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles and, of course, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the movie with perhaps the greatest entrance of all time.
These movies have always had a special place in my heart and they always will. It was…