Cloris Leachman worked with Wilder on Mel Brooks' classic 1974 comedy Young Frankenstein

By People Staff
Updated August 30, 2016 01:15 AM
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Gene Wilder, the beloved actor from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, died on Sunday. He was 83.

Since then, tributes had flooded in for the legendary comedian. Cloris Leachman, who worked with Wilder on Mel Brooks’ classic 1974 comedy Young Frankenstein and other projects, shared her statement with PEOPLE on Monday.

“Gene was in a class by himself. I looked up to him yet on the set he was just one of us. I remember when we were shooting Young Frankenstein there was a scene where I had to get the group up the stairs immediately. I had to say, “Shtay close to zee candles” and turn toward him. As I turned around I could see his face was in two pieces. We had to do our scenes 14 times over because he’d be laughing so hard. Alas…alas…”

“So dear Gene I vill say, Goodnight.” the statement concluded.

Leachman joins a huge number of stars who paid tribute to Wilder following the sad news.

Parenthood star Mae Whitman Tweeted that she’s hosting a Gene Wilder movie marathon, presumably extending the invite to those who know the address to her “pad”:

Star Trek actor George Takei praised Wilder’s ability to make us all smile:

Orange Is the New Black star Uzo Aduba paid tribute to Wilder’s talent:

As did singer Josh Groban, with a nod to Wilder’s iconic performance of “Pure Imagination” in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:

And comedian Gilbert Gottfried shared an old photo with Wilder and comedian Richard Pryor:

Harry Connick Jr. expressed his sadness:

More stars and fans took to social media to mourn the passing of the comedy great:

Reporting by MIA MCNIECE and KARA WARNER