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Willy Wonka

Fictional Character

Born: 1964
Birthplace: Fiction
Best known as: Wacky, reclusive creator of fantastical candy
Willy Wonka is the fictional star of Roald Dahl's 1964 book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and its 1972 sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. Reclusive and wryly eccentric, Wonka runs a magical chocolate factory which makes Everlasting Gobstoppers, Whipple–Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delights and other amazing treats. Though young Charlie Bucket was the titular hero of the books, Wonka became their most remembered character -- so much so that the 1971 film of the first book was titled Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. A second film version of the book, titled Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was released in 2005, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp as Wonka.
Extra credit: Wonka was played by Gene Wilder in the 1971 film; that movie also spawned the tune "The Candy Man," which Sammy Davis Jr. turned into a hit single... Wonka's pygmy assistants are known as Oompa-Loompas; in early editions of the book they were black-skinned natives of Africa, but later editions of the book changed them to colorful natives of Loompaland... A real-life candy company named after Willy Wonka is now owned by the Nestlë Corporation.

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More on Willy Wonka from Infoplease:

  • Willy Wonka - Biography of Willy Wonka, Wacky, reclusive creator of fantastical candy
  • Roald Dahl - Biography of Roald Dahl, The author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Gene Wilder - Biography of Gene Wilder, Frizzy-haired star of Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein
  • Tim Burton - Biography of Tim Burton, The director of the comedy-horror film Beetlejuice
  • Galaxy Express 999 - Starring Saffron Henderson, Kathleen Barr, Janyse Jaud, Terry Klassen, Scott McNeil
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