Gene Wilder, 83, died late Sunday at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, after suffering from Alzheimer’s diseases. Fans expressed both surprise and grief at the news. However, many mistook the original Willy Wonka for Johnny Depp and the social media went buzzing.
“Me: the guy from Willy Wonka died today; Hunter: at first I thought it was Johnny Depp and I got REALLY emotional,” shared a user on Twitter.
“#WillyWonka so since Johnny Depp died.. no more pirates of the Caribbean?” tweeted a user after the news broke.
Willy Wonka, the character which was originally played by Gene Wilder, was portrayed by Depp in the 2005 remake, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’ However, many believe that Depp’s rendition of the 1970s classic ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,’ to be not as good as the original.
In 2013, the screen legend said that Depp’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ was an “insult” to his adaptation of the Ronald Dahl children’s novel. He, however, praised Depp but said that he didn’t care for Tim Burton as a director.
“He’s [Burton] a talented man, but I don’t care for him doing stuff like he did,” he was quoted as saying by the Mail Online.
Wilder’s nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman, said in a statement that the actor could recognize all his loved ones, despite the illness and that he kept his condition a secret until the last day of his life. He added that Wilder tried to live his life to the fullest and did not let his illness get the better of him.
“He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world,” Walker-Pearlman said in a statement, as quoted by Heavy.com. “He continued to enjoy art, music, and kissing with his leading lady of the last twenty-five years, Karen. He danced down a church aisle at a wedding as parent of the groom and ring bearer, held countless afternoon movie western marathons and delighted in the company of beloved ones.”
Below are some of the head-scratching tweets that broke out after it was announced that the “Willy Wonka” actor died.