Actor Gene Wilder dies at 83, family confirms

American comic actor Gene Wilder, originally Jerry Silkman stars with nightclub comedian Richard Pryor in the action comedy 'Silver Streak'. Directed by Arthur Hiller, the film was chosen for the 31st Royal Film Festival. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

American comic actor Gene Wilder, originally Jerry Silkman stars with nightclub comedian Richard Pryor in the action comedy 'Silver Streak'. Directed by Arthur Hiller, the film was chosen for the 31st Royal Film Festival. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — Gene Wilder, the star of such comedy classics as "Young Frankenstein" and "Blazing Saddles," has died. He was 83.

Wilder's nephew says the actor and writer died late yesterday in Stamford, Connecticut from complications from Alzheimer's disease.

The frizzy-haired actor was a master at playing panicked characters caught up in schemes that only a madman such as Mel Brooks could devise, whether reviving a monster in "Young Frankenstein" or bilking Broadway in "The Producers."

Wilder was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and was a graduate of the University of Iowa.