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ABC/Kevin Foley(LOS ANGELES) -- Actress Minnie Driver was on hand Tuesday to promote her new show, Speechless, in which she plays Maya DiMeo, the mother of a family dealing with a special needs child.

But she paused to remember the late Gene Wilder, who died Monday at the age of 83.

"He was just one of the great souls," said Driver, who noted that his quiet demeanor belied the intensity of his wildly comic performances.

"Young Frankenstein is probably [one of my] top-five favorite movies of all time," she said of the 1974 Mel Brooks classic in which Wilder starred. "And The Producers, I mean, it doesn't get any better than that." 

Speechless premieres Wednesday, September 21, at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.

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ABC/Craig Sjodin(NEW YORK) -- The new Bachelor is...Nick Viall.

ABC made the announcement on Tuesday night after Bachelor in Paradise, revealing that Viall would be the next star looking for a shot at love. He will get to hand out his roses in season 21.

Fans knew the big news was coming earlier today, when the show tweeted out a very cryptic, exciting message.

"Who will it be? The wait is over! #TheBachelor will be revealed on #AfterParadise TONIGHT at 9|8c on ABC!" the tweet read, along with a 5-second clip.

The two-time runner up follows in the footsteps of Ben Higgins, who chose Lauren Bushnell this past March. The duo are now engaged to be married.

The Bachelor returns to ABC in January.

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Andrew Lipovsky/NBC(NEW YORK) -- Mel Brooks says he's "still reeling" from the death of his good friend and frequent film partner, Gene Wilder, who died Monday of complications from Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 83.

"He was sick and I knew it," Brooks, 90, told Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday night's The Tonight Show.  "I expected he would go.  When it happens, it's still tremendous...it's a big shock...I'm still reeling...he was such a wonderful part of my life."

Brooks and Wilder's professional partnership began when Brooks cast Wilder as accountant Leo Bloom in his 1968 film The Producers, opposite Zero Mostel, as a down-and-out Broadway producer. The two hatch a plan to bilk money from investors by intentionally producing a flop, only to see their plan backfire when the play turns out to be a hit. Brooks recalls Wilder doubted the project would see the light of day.

"You're doing a play about two Jews who are producing a flop instead of a hit, knowing they could make more money with a flop, and the big number in it is 'Springtime for Hitler?'" Brooks recalls Wilder saying, then adding sarcastically, "Yeah, you're gonna get the money."

Brooks told Fallon that later, "I took the script and I said, 'Gene, we got the money. We're gonna make the movie, you are Leo Bloom.'"

"He burst into tears and held his face and cried, and then I hugged him," adds Brooks. "It was a wonderful moment."

Brooks visited The Tonight Show to plug his upcoming book, Young Frankenstein: The Story of the Making of the Film, coming out in October, as well as his tour, Mel Brooks: Back in the Saddle Again, in which a screening of his classic comedy Blazing Saddles is followed by a conversation with the beloved funnyman.

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Comedian Tape Face performs on "America's Got Talent"; Trae Patton/NBC(LOS ANGELES) -- America’s Got Talent kicked off its semifinals rounds at Hollywood’s Dolby Theater Tuesday night, with 11 quarterfinalists relying on fan votes to see which five of them would advance to the finals. Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Mel B were treated to performances from singers, magicians, comedians and dancers, all introduced by host Nick Cannon.

Here’s a rundown of some of Tuesday’s highlights:

Edgar, a family band featuring Nikki and Rich Edgar and their daughter Jaslyn, performed Rascal Flatts’ “Bless the Broken Road,” bringing the judges to their feet. Simon called the trio one of the most improved acts in the competition.

The 2016 Rio Olympics was one of the topics comedienne Lori Mae Hernandez, 12, tackled during her routine, in particular, USA gymnast Laurie Hernandez, who shares her name. Lori also poked fun at the judges and even Nick Cannon, joking that she outgrew her Barbie dolls “like Mariah [Carey] outgrew Nick.” Mandel called her a star, but thought her material needed work. Cowell called Tuesday’s performance her best so far, adding that Hernandez is “edgy and…fearless.”

Husband and wife knife-throwing act, Deadly Games, added whips and arrows to their routine, with Alfredo Silva using a crossbow to shoot balloons dangling from his wife Anna’s hands and mouth. Howie called the act “thrilling” and “sexy.” Mel B declared it the best performance of the night.

Comic mime Tape Face called an audience member to the stage and placed balloons between the volunteer’s arms and legs, as well as his own. The two proceeded to have a western-style shootout using staple guns, as the well known tune from Pulp Fiction -- “Misirlou” by Dick Dale & His Del-Tones -- played behind them.

National Football League star and magician Jon Dorenbos took the stage with a Velcro map of the United States behind him and had each judge throw a football, which stuck on random states. From a locked box, he pulled out coins with the names of the judges’ states, followed by a map with the judges faces stuck to the corresponding states. Heidi called it Jon’s best trick to date. Simon hailed Dorenbos as “a genius.”

Grace VanderWaal, a 12-year-old singer, songwriter and ukulele player wowed all four judges, as well as the audience, with an original tune. Mel B declared that the tween is “already a superstar.”

Young opera singer Laura Bretan dedicated Tuesday’s aria to her grandfather, who passed away earlier this year. Simon felt it was Laura’s best performance and said that if she’s not in the finals, something went wrong. Howie said he felt the 14-year-old’s heart.

America’s Got Talent returns Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.


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ABC/Rick Rowell(NEW YORK) -- Last night's Bachelor in Paradise focused on the fallout from the Caila Quinn-Jared Haibon- Ashley Iaconetti love triangle.

The triangle abruptly disassembled with Caila awkwardly packing her suitcase while Ashely tries to convince Jared that she is acting in his best interest, trying to protect him because she loves him.

Jared and Ashley talk for a minute but Jared leaves on a low-speed chase after Caila, who is in a car that is driving away very slowly. Amazingly, Jared manages to stop the vehicle without breaking the creases in his slacks and gets in with Caila. He tells her he wants to be in the car with her and says, “What am I gonna do?” and the two of them say goodbye to paradise. True love is, like, literally: so awesome.

Meanwhile, Ashely is crying. “I just lost one of my best friends,” she says, and moments later resolves to live for herself and puts on makeup.

During what looks like a lightning storm, Wells Adams and Canadian Jami Letain come over and have drinks. Wells doesn’t want to bum-out Ashley while Jami says that she’s “89 percent sure” that Wells is over Ashley. They hug.

After the commercial break, Isabel “Izzy” Goodkind has a few things to say and then Lauren H from Ben’s season shows up. Brett Melnick says Lauren “looks scrumptious” and Wells says that he doesn’t want to get asked out again because he’s overwhelmed with all the women he’s juggling.

Shushanna Mkrtychyan has also shown up and Ashley does not like that, calling Shushanna “Eurotrash.” Shushanna, meanwhile, is wearing high-heels in the sand.

Next we find Lauren and Brett and Shushanna and Wells down at the beach where they are going to have surfing lessons, instead of behavioral psychotherapy, which everyone at this resort might benefit from.

The lessons seem like a thinly veiled excuse to get Lauren and Shushanna out of their Daisy Dukes and into revealing bikinis as they splash around. This is punctuated by Brett who says, “Lauren is looking pretty hot in a bikini. Shushanna also looks great. Today I brought my BEECHES to the BEACHES.”

Izzy is not happy that Brett is at the beach with Lauren.

Meanwhile, Lauren and Brett are together on the beach and Lauren is talking and her roots are showing and Brett says he is “super confused.”

Back in Ashley-land, Ash is concerned that she is competing with two other girls. When they cut to Wells, he is explaining Shushanna’s appeal and compares her to a Bond villain, though he neglects to point out which one. Since it’s unlikely Wells is familiar with From Russia with Love, let’s just say “Jaws.”

Back at the resort, Evan Bass is making out with Carly Waddell in such a manner that the network has to censor some of it. So there was that.

Later on, after a well-needed commercial break, Josh Murray is sitting down to dinner with Amanda Stanton. Josh clearly has his eyebrows waxed and puts gel in his hair at a resort that is probably a cool 72 degrees at night which should be a red flag, but he works hard to convince Amanda and her that he is serious about her. Amanda concentrates as hard as she can while Josh tells her that “everything is very real for me.”

Amanda says, “He’s like everything that I’ve ever wanted,” adding that, “after tonight I do love Josh.”

They embrace while fireworks explode in the distance, which begs the question: are there just always fireworks going off at Mexican beaches?

Ashley, again, trashes Shushanna and calls her “a Russian hooker” and then Jami has a drink that inspires her and she goes off with Wells to talk.

Next week promises “multiple proposals” but asks “who will go home brokenhearted?”

Ashley is probably a safe bet for the latter. And anybody who sleeps with Wells.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A day after the passing of Gene Wilder, the tributes to the Oscar nominated actor are still rolling in -- this time, from the grown-ups who were just kids when they worked with him on the set of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

Pete Ostrum played good-natured Charlie Bucket in the 1971 classic -- and despite offers to continue a big-screen career, he decided to leave Hollywood behind. He became a Cornell-educated veterinarian who still works in Lowville, New York.

In an exclusive email to ABC News, Dr. Ostrum said, "Lots to remember...Few actors have had such a great impact on the film industry as Gene did. Gene’s wit and humor spoke to many generations of film audiences. He was a unique talent that brought joy to all of us that followed his long career. As a young actor filming Willy Wonka, I had the rare privilege of working with Gene who I greatly admired. He became my mentor and personal friend. For that I will always be grateful. So shines a good deed in a weary world."

They might not have gotten along with him onscreen, but the other children from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory remembered fondly the actor who immortalized Willy Wonka on the silver screen.

The remaining golden ticket winners -- who were ultimately undone by their bad behavior in the movie -- took to social media to pay tribute to the late Wilder.

Julie Dawn Cole, who played the bratty Veruca Salt, and Denise Nickerson, who played the gum-chomping Violet Beauregarde, expressed their condolences via Twitter.

"Such very sad news. Words not enough. Treasured memories," Cole wrote.

"RIP Gene. You were so talented and kindhearted. You will be sorely missed by so many. All of us have lost OUR Willy Wonka. Love, Violet" Nickerson tweeted.

Actor Paris Themmen, who played Mike Teevee, changed his Facebook cover photo to honor Wilder's life.

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Copyright Discovery Communications, Inc.(LOS ANGELES) -- Oprah Winfrey's weight-loss journey has hit a distinct milestone, and her longtime boyfriend has the proof. 

The media mogul and Weight Watchers spokeswoman talked to People magazine Monday night at the red carpet premiere of her network OWN's drama Queen Sugar, where she was asked what her recent weight loss means for her beau Stedman Graham.

"I would like him to pick me up and carry me to the pool," she said. "I've lost enough weight, he can pick me up and carry me to the pool. I can straddle him without breaking his back."

Winfrey announced in January that she had lost more than 25 pounds, all -- famously while still eating one of her favorite staples: bread.

"I genuinely feel that it’s been easier this time than the other 3,000 times I’ve gone on a diet because I don’t even feel like it is a diet," she said back in May.

Along with her work for Weight Watchers, Oprah is also featured in a new scripted show for OWN, Greenleaf, which she is also producing. The show is generating a lot of positive buzz and she couldn't be happier.

"I am actually doing it. I really only do what I want to do when I want to do it. That’s the best life,” she said earlier this summer.

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2016 Disney(LOS ANGELES) -- Bill Murray channels his inner Baloo in the recording studio in this new video shot behind the scenes of The Jungle Book.

Good Morning America got an exclusive behind-the-scenes look inside the booth as Murray let loose while recording "Bare Necessities" for Disney's blockbuster reimagining of the Disney classic.

Helmed by Iron Man and Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau, the acclaimed film also features the voices of Marvel movie vets Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, and Idris Elba, as well as that of Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o.

The movie, which hit theaters in April, was recently re-released in IMAX and on DVD and Blu-ray; Murray's bear-y good crooning can be seen in the home format's supplemental material. 

Disney is the parent company of both Marvel and ABC News.

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John Lamparski/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- On The Late Late Show Monday night, host James Corden shared some fond memories of Gene Wilder, who died Monday at 83 of complications from Alzheimer's. Corden explained Wilder once came to visit him backstage after watching a play in which Corden performed in New York City. 

"It was incredible...If anyone else came backstage, they'd stay for five, six, maybe 10 minutes, tops. He sat in my room for a half an hour...I'll never forget it for the rest of my life...And all he wanted to talk about was...How my wife and son were adjusting in New York, and was it happy and was it fun."

Corden said the pair exchanged emails, and sometime later James asked Wilder to appear in the first episode of Corden's chat show, in a sketch that had Corden scoring a Wonka-like Golden Ticket, which meant he got to host the show.  But Wilder politely declined, Corden explained. 

"In the history of people saying no to things, it couldn't have been nicer," Corden said, then shared the email, "It just said, 'Dearest James: I don't do, or go, where you were hoping, but I'll be looking for you with my love,' Gene."

"Even the way he said no was so poetic -- even his emails sounded somehow like Willy Wonka," said Corden. "He was just this magical person."

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Andrew Burton/Getty Image(NEW YORK) -- With news that Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin would be separating from her husband, disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, after a third sexting scandal, Showtime wasted no time Monday announcing the television premiere of WEINER, a documentary that follows Weiner's aborted run for the New York City mayoralty in 2013.

The movie, which won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, will premiere on Showtime Saturday, October 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.  

Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011 after it came to light that he had tweeted explicit photos of himself to a woman while his wife was pregnant with the couple's son.  His 2013 run for mayor of New York collapsed during a second sexting scandal.

Sunday, The New York Post revealed Weiner had sent explicit messages and photos to another woman last month.  Less than 24 hours later, Abedin announced their separation.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC(NEW YORK) -- Ryan Lochte’s road to rehabilitating his post-Olympic image begins on Dancing with the Stars.  The 32-year-old gold medal-winning swimmer has joined the season 23 cast of the ABC dance competition.  The official announcement came Tuesday morning on ABC’s Good Morning America, following a sit-down with Amy Robach about Lochte's Rio controversy. 

"I want to move forward," the swimmer said of the intoxicated incident he had exaggerated as a gunpoint robbery -- for which he again apologized. "I want the whole world to move forward...Everyone's gotta be sick and tired of hearing about this...I just want to move forward and..." 

"...And put on your dancing shoes," Robach laughed. 

Lochte won’t be the only Olympian on the dance floor.  Gold medal-winning gymnast Laurie Hernandez is also joining the cast.

Former pros Derek Hough and Cheryl Burke are returning this season, with Burke teaming with Lochte.  It was previously announced that Maksim Chmerkovskiy also would be returning after taking some time off.

Here’s the competitor rundown, with the full list of pro partners to come:

Laurie Hernandez, Olympic gymnast, with pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy
Ryan Lochte, Olympic swimmer, with Cheryl Burke
Maureen McCormick, former Brady Bunch star, with Artem Chigvintsev
Amber Rose, model, with Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Terra Jolé, actress, with Sasha Farber
Marilu Henner, actress, with Derek Hough
Rick Perry, former Texas governor, with Emma Slater
Jake T. Austin, actor, with Jenna Johnson
Calvin Johnson, NFL standout, with Lindsay Arnold
Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, singer, with Allison Holker
Vanilla Ice, former rapper, with Witney Carson
James Hinchcliffe, pro IndyCar driver, with Sharna Burgess
Jana Kramer, country star and actress, with Gleb Savchenko

Dancing with the Stars returns Monday, September 12 with a two-hour live premiere at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Famous fans and friends of Gene Wilder took to Twitter to mourn the 83-year-old actor and writer, who died Monday of complications from Alzheimer's. 

Here are just a sample of the online condolences. 

"Thanks for all the laughs, Gene Wilder.  #RIPGeneWilder"

Mel Brooks
"Gene Wilder-One of the truly great talents of our time. He blessed every film we did with his magic & he blessed me with his friendship."

Josh Groban, who recently recorded "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory:  "Thank you Gene Wilder for the wonderful, the weird, the pure imagination. One of my greatest heroes."

Ricky Gervais
"Good Day Sir!" RIP Gene Wilder

Rob Lowe
"Gene Wilder as one of my earliest heroes. Blazing Saddles, Willy Wonka, are CLINICS on comic acting. Sad to hear of his passing."

James Gunn 
"Young Frankenstein, Silver Streak, Willy Wonka, Blazing Saddles, Stir Crazy: Gene Wilder, you were my youth! RIP."  The Guardians of the Galaxy co-writer and director also posted a picture of Wilder and his wife to remind people that though he was married to the late Gilda Radner, his current wife was there for him. Gunn wrote, "Re all the mentions of Gilda with Gene Wilder's passing, remember Karen, his wife of the past 25 years. True love:"


Re all the mentions of Gilda with Gene Wilder's passing, remember Karen, his wife of the past 25 years. True love: pic.twitter.com/pD39FuiRFH

— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) August 29, 2016


Harry Connick Jr.
"so sad to learn of the passing of my good friend, gene wilder... such an incredible man... i'll miss you ."

Josh Gad
"The greatest comedic mind of my childhood is now gone. #RIP #GeneWilder & thank you 4 your pure imagination. This one hits hard."

Tony Goldwyn
"RIP #GeneWider. We lost one of the greats today. How deeply you will be missed."

Uzo Aduba 
"The genius, the talent, the actor, the original, the artist, the storyteller, the creative, the iconic, the great, great, great Gene Wilder."

Dave Foley
"Gene Wilder's talent was too great to be contained by the term 'actor'. Instead he should be thought of as a 'genre'". #RIPGeneWilder

Albert Brooks
"R.I.P Gene Wilder. As funny as they come."

Larry Wilmore
"There's a big hole in Comedy's heart with the loss of Gene Wilder today. RIP Willy Wonka."

Stephen Fry
"Farewell #GeneWilder, comic genius. Thank you for all those happy happy hours."

Olivia Wilde
"Thanks for stopping by Earth for a while."

John Leguizamo
"#RIP #GeneWilder one of the great comic geniuses. U will be missed!"

Russell Crowe
"I saw Blazing Saddles 7 times at the cinema with my school friends. George St. Cows outside.
Gene Wilder you were a genius. Rest in Peace."

Elizabeth Banks
"I just bought a vintage Blazing Saddles poster. 3 days ago. Gene Wilder made my [heart] dance - you bad, and now may you rest in peace."

Sir Roger Moore
"RIP Gene Wilder. Only happy memories of making Sunday Lovers together."

Debra Messing, who worked with Wilder on Will and Grace:  "A man who lit up the world with his joy and genius. I can't say what it meant to act with him and get to know his heart. ??RIP #GeneWilder"

George Takei
"He was always able to make us smile, and that is no small feat. Rest with the stars, Gene Wilder."

Kevin Smith
"GENE WILDER, the face of childhood joy for many a generation, has passed. Farewell, sweet genius. Gilda awaits you."

Rapper Macklemore
"We are the music makers.  And we are the dreamers of dreams."  Tonight's show will be dedicated to Gene Wilder...Willy Wonka will never die"

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ABC/Rick Rowell(NEW YORK) -- The Bachelor in Paradise love triangle between Jared Haibon, Caila Quinn and Ashley Iaconetti came to a head on Monday when Caila told Ashley she wanted to go home.

Ashley, tired of seeing Jared and Caila together, immediately set her sights on the newest addition to Paradise – Wells Adams, from JoJo’s season. Ashley’s prayers were answered when Wells asked her out on a date.

During their date in the city, Ashley told him she was happy he was there and revealed to the camera that she might even like him more than Jared. Wells said he also was “really excited” and punctuates the conversation with a long kiss.

The pair sent candle-lit lanterns into the night sky which, if they rose without bursting into flames, were said to make wishes come true. Theirs floated without igniting – or so they think – but as the camera lingers, the lantern goes up in a puff of smoke.

Back at the house, tempers flared between Lace Morris and Grant Kemp when Lace started flirting with some of the other guys, causing Grant to storm off. Later he argued that Lace disrespected him, while she insisted she did nothing wrong. Unwilling to put up with his petty behavior, she told him, “Good luck finding love with someone else.” Later, she tells the other ladies she was thinking of going home.

Grant tried to convince Lace not to leave declaring that he loved her. She was unmoved. He explained that he knows she acts the way she does because she’s scared. By the end of the night, they apologized and were shown making out.

Meanwhile, after promising Josh Murray that she would sleep with him in the sex room, Amanda Stanton told Nick Viall and Jen Saviano that they could have the room because she intended to sleep in her own bed. Josh stopped them because he and Amanda were sleeping there. Josh argued with Amanda as the two had a “good talk.”

Then it was another rose ceremony, with the women in power. Beforehand, Evan Bass revealed to Carly Wadell that he’s falling in love with her, and she says the feeling is mutual.

Daniel Maguire used the pre-ceremony cocktail party to secure a rose from Isabel “Izzy” Goodkind by giving her a bigger and better lamp in an attempt to one-up Brett Melnick  but he told her she can only keep it if she gives him a rose.

At the rose ceremony, Carly gave her rose to Evan; Ashley gave her rose to Wells; Jen gave her rose to Nick; Izzy gave her rose to Brett; Caila gave hers to Jared; Lace gave her rose to Grant and Amanda gave her rose to Josh.

When it was Haley Furguson’s turn, she called her twin sister Emily up and shocked the room by announcing that they were leaving Paradise. That left Brian Osborne, Carl King and Daniel without roses and therefore sent home.

Before they left the house, the twins warned Amanda about Josh’s intentions. Amanda confronted Josh. He assured her that his intentions are good. Josh went back to the house and challenged the others to tell him he’s not genuine to his face. Nick stepped up.

A fight ensues when Josh accused Nick of trying to sabotage his relationship with Amanda because she rejected Nick.

Furious, Josh threatened to leave. Amanda told the other ladies that she’d heard from several people about Josh and can’t ignore that. Josh asked Amanda to leave with him so they could continue their relationship away from the others. She ultimately convinced him to stay.

There was more trouble in Paradise as another newcomer -- Jamie Otis from Ben’s season -- showed up with a date card. Wells was the only one around, so she asked him and he accepted. Nick and Jen broke the news to Ashley, who -- to everyone’s amazement -- appeared to handle it well.

Jamie and Wells went on a date to get down and dirty on an off-road adventure through Mexico.

Ashley still hasn’t let go of her feelings for Jared and confronted Caila, who decided Paradise wasn’t big enough for the both of them. As the show ended, we were left to wonder, whether Caila will stay or go home.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Charles Sykes/BravoAlison Brie, formerly of NBC's Community, is stepping into the ring as an unlikely female wrestler in Netflix's upcoming comedy G.L.O.W., ABC News has confirmed.

Based on the 1980's syndicated show G.L.O.W. -- or Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling -- the 10-episode Neflix series was co-created by Homeland producer Liz Flahive, and Carly Mensch of Orange Is the New Black fame.

Brie, who also voices multiple characters on Netflix's animated series Bojack Horseman, will reportedly play Ruth, an out-of-work actress who ends up taking a gig as a female pro wrestler in an attempt to keep her on-camera career alive.

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Gene Wilder in 1987; George Rose/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Gene Wilder, the comic actor and writer famous for movies like The Producers, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, died Monday at his home in Stamford, Connecticut. He was 83.

Wilder's death was confirmed in a statement to ABC News by his nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman, who said the cause of death was "Alzheimer’s Disease with which he co-existed for the last three years," adding, "The choice to keep this private was his choice."

The statement continues: "The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him 'there’s Willy Wonka,' would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion. He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world."

Wilder also had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1989.

Wilder was one of Mel Brooks' favorite leading men, appearing in Young Frankenstein, which he co-wrote with Brooks, The Producers and Blazing Saddles, but he also found box office success teamed with Richard Pryor for a series of films including Silver Streak and Stir Crazy.  Wilder was nominated for an Oscar for his role in The Producers, and for co-writing Young Frankenstein with Brooks.

Wilder's most iconic role, though, is arguably that of Willy Wonka, the chocolate factory owner who searches for a child to take over his business in 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  While not a huge hit upon its initial release, it's since become a classic. 

According to Variety, Wilder's most successful roles featured him playing characters with "a signature mixture of hysteria and sweetness."

"[Mel Brooks] always thought that I was a perfect victim, I was a sheep and the wolves could come and get me," Wilder once told ABC News Radio.  "I've changed a little bit since then, but he was right about that time, when I was doing The Producers.  By Young Frankenstein, I wasn't the sheep anymore.  A little bit, but not much."

Wilder married Saturday Night Live star and comic actress Gilda Radner in 1982.  She was his third wife. They co-starred in two films, The Woman in Red and Haunted Honeymoon. After Radner died in 1989 from ovarian cancer, a devastated Wilder worked very little afterward.  He co-founded Gilda's Club, an organization that offers support for cancer patients, their families and friends.

In the '90s, Wilder appeared in feature films, a failed TV series, and wrote and starred in mystery movies for A&E.  He won an Emmy for his final acting role: a guest stint in Will and Grace from 2002 to 2003.

Wilder was also an author, publishing two novels, two novellas and a collection of stories.

He's survived by his fourth wife, Karen, and his nephew.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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