|Height:||179 cm (5' 11'')|
|Birth Day:||June 11, 1933|
|Death Date:||Aug 29, 2016 (age 83)|
|Birth Place:||Milwaukee, United States|
|Height:||179 cm (5' 11'')|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Gene Wilder died on Aug 29, 2016 (age 83).
Real Estate: In 2007 Gene paid $2.725 million for a home on Chalon Road in Bel Air, Los Angeles. In 2013 he sold the home for $6.75 million to billionaire Elon Musk. The home sits across the street from a large mansion that Musk occupied for many years. In 2020 Elon stunned the world when he announced he was selling all of his homes and physical assets. That included Wilder's former home. He did stipulate that the buyer of Wilder's home would have to agree to not change the property much because Elon felt Wilder's magic charm should be preserved.
He developed an interest in acting when his mom contracted rheumatic fever and her doctor asked him to entertain her. His first paid role as an actor was as Mercutio in a production of Romeo & Juliet.
Wilder was born Jerome Silberman on June 11, 1933, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Jeanne (Baer) and William J. Silberman, a manufacturer and salesman of novelty items. His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant, as were his maternal grandparents. Wilder first became interested in acting at age eight, when his mother was diagnosed with rheumatic fever and the doctor told him to "try and make her laugh."
When Jeanne Silberman felt that her son's potential was not being fully realized in Wisconsin, she sent him to Black-Foxe, a military institute in Hollywood, where he was bullied and sexually assaulted, primarily because he was the only Jewish boy in the school, according to his own account. After an unsuccessful short stay at Black-Foxe, Wilder returned home and became increasingly involved with the local theatre community. He performed for the first time in front of a paying audience at age 15, as Balthasar (Romeo's servant) in a production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Gene Wilder graduated from Washington High School in Milwaukee in 1951.
Following his 1955 graduation from Iowa, he was accepted at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, England. After six months of studying fencing, Wilder became the first freshman to win the All-School Fencing Championship. Desiring to study Stanislavski's system, he returned to the U.S., living with his sister and her family in Queens. Wilder enrolled at the HB Studio.
Wilder was drafted into the Army on September 10, 1956. At the end of recruit training, he was assigned to the medical corps and sent to Fort Sam Houston for training. He was then given the opportunity to choose any post that was open, and wanting to stay near New York City to attend acting classes at the HB Studio, he chose to serve as paramedic in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at Valley Forge Army Hospital, in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. In November 1957, his mother died from ovarian cancer. He was discharged from the army a year later and returned to New York. A scholarship to the HB Studio allowed him to become a full-time student. At first living on unemployment insurance and some savings, he later supported himself with odd jobs such as a limousine driver and fencing instructor.
Wilder met his first wife, Mary Mercier, while studying at the HB Studio in New York. Although the couple had not been together long, they married on July 22, 1960. They spent long periods of time apart, eventually divorcing in 1965. A few months later, Wilder began dating Mary Joan Schutz, a friend of his sister. Schutz had a daughter, Katharine, from a previous marriage. When Katharine started calling Wilder "Dad", he decided to do what he felt was "the right thing to do", marrying Schutz on October 27, 1967, and adopting Katharine that same year. Schutz and Wilder separated after seven years of marriage, with Katharine suspecting that Wilder was having an affair with his Young Frankenstein co-star, Madeline Kahn. After the divorce, he briefly dated his other Frankenstein co-star, Teri Garr. Wilder eventually became estranged from Katharine.
In 1963, Wilder was cast in a leading role in Mother Courage and Her Children, a production starring Anne Bancroft, who introduced Wilder to her boyfriend (and later husband) Mel Brooks. A few months later, Brooks mentioned that he was working on a screenplay called Springtime for Hitler, for which he thought Wilder would be perfect in the role of Leo Bloom. Brooks elicited a promise from Wilder that he would check with him before making any long-term commitments. Months went by, and Wilder toured the country with different theatre productions, participated in a televised CBS presentation of Death of a Salesman, and was cast for his first role in a film—a minor role in Arthur Penn's 1967 Bonnie and Clyde. After three years of not hearing from Brooks, Wilder was called for a reading with Zero Mostel, who was to be the star of Springtime for Hitler and had approval of his co-star. Mostel approved, and Wilder was cast for his first leading role in a feature film, 1967's The Producers.
In 1969, Wilder relocated to Paris, accepting a leading role in Bud Yorkin's Start the Revolution Without Me, a comedy that took place during the French Revolution. After shooting ended, Wilder returned to New York, where he read the script for Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx and immediately called Sidney Glazier, who produced The Producers. Both men began searching for the perfect director for the film. Jean Renoir was the first candidate, but he would not be able to do the film for at least a year, so British-Indian director Waris Hussein was hired. With Margot Kidder co-starring with Wilder, it was filmed on location in Dublin, and at the nearby Ardmore Studios, in August and September 1969.
In 1971, Wilder auditioned to play Willy Wonka in Mel Stuart's film adaptation of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. After reciting some lines, director Mel Stuart immediately offered him the role. Before Wilder was officially cast for the role, Fred Astaire, Joel Grey, Ron Moody, and Jon Pertwee were all considered. Spike Milligan was Roald Dahl's original choice to play Willy Wonka. Peter Sellers even begged Dahl for the role.
In 1975, Wilder's agent sent him a script for a film called Super Chief. Wilder accepted, but told the film's producers that he thought the only person who could keep the film from being offensive was Richard Pryor. Pryor accepted the role in the film, which had been renamed Silver Streak, the first film to team Wilder and Pryor. They became Hollywood's first successful interracial movie comedy duo.
While filming Silver Streak, Wilder began working on a script for The World's Greatest Lover, inspired by Fellini's The White Sheik. Wilder wrote, produced, and directed The World's Greatest Lover, which premièred in 1977, but was a critical failure. The Frisco Kid (1979) was Wilder's next project. The film was to star John Wayne, but he dropped out and was replaced by Harrison Ford, then an up-and-coming actor.
In 1980 Wilder teamed up again with Richard Pryor in Stir Crazy, directed by Sidney Poitier. Pryor was struggling with a severe cocaine addiction, and filming became difficult, but once the film premiered, it became an international success. New York magazine listed "Skip Donahue" (Wilder) and "Harry Monroe" (Pryor) as number nine on their 2007 list of "The Fifteen Most Dynamic Duos in Pop Culture History", and the film has often appeared in "best comedy" lists and rankings.
Wilder met Saturday Night Live actress Gilda Radner on August 13, 1981, while filming Sidney Poitier's Hanky Panky. Radner was married to guitarist G. E. Smith at the time, but Wilder and she became inseparable friends. When the filming of Hanky Panky ended, Wilder found himself missing Radner, so he called her. The relationship grew, and Radner eventually divorced Smith in 1982. She moved in with Wilder, and the couple married on September 14, 1984, in the south of France. The couple wanted to have children, but Radner suffered miscarriages, and doctors could not determine the problem. After experiencing severe fatigue and suffering from pain in her upper legs on the set of Haunted Honeymoon, Radner sought medical treatment. Following a number of false diagnoses, she was found to have ovarian cancer in October 1986. Over the next year and a half, Radner battled the disease, receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. The disease finally went into remission, giving the couple a respite, during which time Wilder filmed See No Evil, Hear No Evil. By May 1989, the cancer returned and had metastasized. Radner died on May 20, 1989. Wilder later stated, "I always thought she'd pull through."
TriStar Pictures wanted to produce another film starring Wilder and Pryor, and Wilder agreed to do See No Evil, Hear No Evil only if he were allowed to rewrite the script. The studio agreed, and See No Evil, Hear No Evil premiered in May 1989 to mostly negative reviews. Many critics praised Wilder and Pryor, as well as Kevin Spacey's performance, but they mostly agreed that the script was terrible. Roger Ebert called it "a real dud"; the Deseret Morning News described the film as "stupid", with an "idiotic script" that had a "contrived story" and too many "juvenile gags", while Vincent Canby called it "by far the most successful co-starring vehicle for Mr. Pryor and Mr. Wilder", also acknowledging that "this is not elegant movie making, and not all of the gags are equally clever".
After starring as a political cartoonist who falls in love in the 1990 film Funny About Love, Wilder performed in one final movie with Pryor, the 1991 feature Another You, in which Pryor's physical deterioration from multiple sclerosis was clearly noticeable. It was Pryor's last starring role in a film (he appeared in a few cameos before he died in 2005) and also marked Wilder's last appearance in a feature film. His last two movies were not financially successful. Wilder's remaining work consisted of television movies and guest appearances in TV shows.
Wilder was inducted into the Wisconsin Performing Arts Hall of Fame, at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts in Milwaukee, on April 9, 1991.
While preparing for his role as a deaf man in See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Wilder met Karen Webb (née Boyer), who was a clinical supervisor for the New York League for the Hard of Hearing. Webb coached him in lip reading. Following Gilda Radner's death, Wilder and Webb reconnected, and on September 8, 1991, they married. The two lived in Stamford, Connecticut, in the 1734 Colonial home that he had shared with Radner.
In 1994, Wilder starred in the NBC sitcom Something Wilder. The show received poor reviews and lasted only one season. He went back to the small screen in 1999, appearing in three television movies, one of which was the NBC adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. The other two, Murder in a Small Town and The Lady in Question, were mystery movies for A&E TV that were cowritten by Wilder, in which he played a theatre director turned amateur detective.
In 1998, Wilder collaborated on the book Gilda's Disease with oncologist Steven Piver, sharing personal experiences of Radner's struggle with ovarian cancer. Wilder himself was hospitalized with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 1999, but confirmed in March 2005 that the cancer was in complete remission following chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.
In October 2001, he read from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as part of a special benefit performance held at the Westport Country Playhouse to aid families affected by the September 11 attacks. Also in 2001, Wilder donated a collection of scripts, correspondences, documents, photographs, and clipped images to the University of Iowa Libraries.
Wilder was raised Jewish, but he held only the Golden Rule as his philosophy. In a book published in 2005, he stated, "I have no other religion. I feel very Jewish and I feel very grateful to be Jewish. But I don't believe in God or anything to do with the Jewish religion".
On March 1, 2005, Wilder released his highly personal memoir, Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art, an account of his life covering everything from his childhood up to Radner's death. Two years later, in March 2007, Wilder released his first novel, My French Whore, which is set during World War I. His second novel, The Woman Who Wouldn't, was released in March 2008.
In 2007, Wilder stated, "I'm quietly political. I don't like advertising. Giving money to someone or support, but not getting on a bandstand. I don't want to run for president in 2008. I will write another book instead." Wilder donated to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.
In a 2008 Turner Classic Movies special, Role Model: Gene Wilder, where Alec Baldwin interviewed Wilder about his career, Wilder said that he was basically retired from acting for good. "I don't like show business, I realized," he explained. "I like show, but I don't like the business."
In 2010, Wilder released a collection of stories called What Is This Thing Called Love?. His third novel, Something to Remember You By: A Perilous Romance, was released in April 2013.
When asked in a 2013 Time Out New York magazine interview whether he would act again if a suitable film project came his way, Wilder responded, "I'm tired of watching the bombing, shooting, killing, swearing and 3-D. I get 52 movies a year sent to me, and maybe there are three good [ones]. That's why I went into writing. It's not that I wouldn't act again. I'd say, 'Give me the script. If it's something wonderful, I'll do it.' But I don't get anything like that."
Wilder died at the age of 83 on August 29, 2016, at home in Stamford, Connecticut, from complications of Alzheimer's disease. He had kept knowledge of his condition private, but had been diagnosed three years prior to his death. Wilder's nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman, said that this was so as not to sadden fans of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, stating:
Gene's third wife was co-star and actress Gilda Radner. Their relationship lasted from 1984 until her death in 1989. Gene then married his fourth wife, Karen Boyer, in 1991.
Currently, Gene Wilder is 88 years, 0 months and 3 days old. Gene Wilder will celebrate 89th birthday on a Saturday 11th of June 2022. Below we countdown to Gene Wilder upcoming birthday.
Happy 80th birthday, Gene Wilder!
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Happy Birthday to Gene Wilder, Hugh Laurie, and Peter Dinklage!
Today has the remarkable, and completely coincidental, distinction of being the anniversary of the birth of three great actors in geeky (and non-geeky) movies and television.