Gene Wilder, the legendary comedic actor, passed away yesterday, at the age of 83. As we like to do when someone of note dies, we've tried to distill some wisdom from their life and work, as our way of paying respects and taking lessons from interesting lives. And few had a body of work as interesting as Wilder's. Wilder spent decades charming his way into our lives, alongside Richard Pryor in "Stir Crazy," as a gunslinger in "Blazing Saddles," and as the doctor himself in "Young Frankenstein."
But one of Wilder's defining roles, as the insane, eccentric, endearing Willy Wonka of "Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory," deserves, perhaps, the most attention here. That film didn't just epitomize Wilder's unconventional style, it was also uniquely legalistic. It is certainly one of the most popular children's movies to ever have its climax turn on contract interpretation, for example. So, here are some legal lessons from "Wonka," to remember Wilder by.