We're guessing the reason why they went with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory instead of sticking with Charlie in the title, as dictated by the Roald Dahl tale, had something to do with the film's leading man.
Because once Gene Wilder donned that top hat, cocked his head and that look of Peter Pan wonder tinged with brilliance and more than a dash of mania radiated from his crystal-blue eyes, the 1971 classic was his.
Wilder, whose comedic performances were rooted in brilliantly frantic energy and his ability to churn out one perfectly timed turn of phrase after another, died Monday at 83. His family says he had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
The actor, author and activist leaves behind a most watchable body of work—watchable as in, we need toes and fingers to count all the times we've seen even just a few of his films over and over again. He tended to steal every scene he was in, even when he was matching wits with some of the biggest personalities in the business—and though he was a lauded actor, every role he played was unmistakably him at the same time.
In honor of the late star, here are some of the most unforgettable roles from a very unique career: