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Actor Who Played Charlie In Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory Says Gene Wilder's Death Is 'Like Losing A Parent'

Filed under: Film FlickersR.I.P.Sad SadFamilyNostalgia

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Those who knew Gene Wilder are struggling to process his death.

On Monday, the icon passed away at 83 years old due to complications with Alzheimer's Disease. And on Tuesday, the man who once starred as Charlie alongside the late legend in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory is speaking out about the sad loss.

Related: James Corden Remember Gene In Late Late Show Tribute

Peter Ostrum opened up to Variety about the acclaimed actor's passing, admitting that his older costar was almost like a father figure, even though they hadn't seen each other since production wrapped on their 1971 film:

"It's kind of like losing a parent. You know it's going to happen, but it's still a shock. He was not in good health at the end and it was not unexpected by any means, but when it happens it hits you like, 'Gene is gone and there will never be anyone like him again.'"

Peter explained he only has fond memories of the Young Frankenstein alum, adding:

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The Kids From Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory Reunited After 44 Years — And They All Look WAY Different!

Filed under: TV NewsFilm FlickersNostalgia

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44 years later, the cast of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has grown up!

Even though most of them are not in the entertainment biz anymore, they still have a sweet tooth for the 1971 film in which they all won golden tickets to a world of pure imagination!

The O.G. cast sat down on the Today show to share fond memories they had filming the musical adaptation of Roald Dahl classic children's book!

Photos: Chocolate World Records That Will Blow Your Mind!

Most of the former child stars look WAY different, especially Peter Ostrum who played the kind-hearted Charlie Bucket!

For the rest of them, it turns out playing spoiled brats was as much fun as it sounded! Julie Dawn Cole, who played the impatient and greedy Veruca Salt, said:

"It's fun to be bad and to be encouraged to be bad. Usually your parents are telling you, 'Don't do this. Don't do that.' And we had Mel Stuart, our director, saying, 'Be meaner.'"

She did a great job; Veruca Salt is considered one of the most vicious children in cinematic history!

Check out the interview (below) to find out how many cavities Denise Nickerson (Violet Beauregarde) got from chewing all that gum while filming!

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