Actor and former Oompa Loompa pays tribute to Gene Wilder

Rusty Goffe played one of the Oompa Loompas.

The death of American actor Gene Wilder has made the headlines around the world. But it was with particular sadness that one man from Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire heard the news.

Rusty Goffe played one of the Oompa Loompas.

Rusty Goffe played one of the Oompa Loompas in perhaps Wilder's best known film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

The 1971 film which brings Roald Dahl's novel to life, follows lovable Charlie who clinches a golden ticket to gain access to the enchanting factory.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was filmed in Munich in 1970.

Rusty, who was 22 when the movie was filmed, said Gene was a very funny man with a magical aura about him.

"Gene Wilder was an amazing man, he was very gentle, very quiet, but he knew what he wanted. He was a very very funny man and it showed in the movie. He had a magical aura about him and it really showed," he said.

Remembering Wilder from his Wonka days, Rusty said: "Off screen he was even better because we had the five children there and they were only ten or eleven years of age. Some of them were away from their own families on their own and Gene spent time with them telling them stories along with Roy Kinnear and the other Oompa Loopmas.

"It was a big family, a lovely family and Gene was the father of it. He was really lovely telling very funny stories."

Rusty said he was "very proud" to be a part of the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory film, adding: "When we were doing it we didn't realise it was going to be as big.

"It was made for adults by the way, not for children. It was made for adults. And adults and children alike loved it."

Reflecting on Wilder's success and how the world will remember the famous candy man, Rusty said: "The world will remember him as a funny, comedic actor and a likable man. I've never heard a bad word said about him.

"Everyone loved him no matter what he did, whether it was The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Willy Wonka, everyone loved him. They thought he was a very fun and nice man."

Rusty who played one of the Oompa Loompas can be seen in all the Oompa scenes especially the Song and Dances.

ITV Anglia interviewed Rusty about what Gene Wilder was like to work with: