Gene Wilder  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Jerome Silberman (June 11, 1933 – August 29, 2016), known professionally as Gene Wilder, was an American comic actor in film and theater, screenwriter, film director, and author.

Wilder began his career on stage, and made his screen debut in an episode of the TV series The Play of the Week in 1961. Although his first film role was portraying a hostage in the 1967 motion picture Bonnie and Clyde, Wilder's first major role was as Leopold Bloom in the 1968 film The Producers for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. This was the first in a series of collaborations with writer/director Mel Brooks, including 1974's Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, which Wilder co-wrote, garnering the pair an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Wilder is known for his portrayal of Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) and for his four films with Richard Pryor: Silver Streak (1976), Stir Crazy (1980), See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989), and Another You (1991). Wilder directed and wrote several of his own films, including The Woman in Red (1984).

His third wife was actress Gilda Radner, with whom he starred in three films, the last two of which he also directed. Her 1989 death from ovarian cancer led to his active involvement in promoting cancer awareness and treatment, helping found the Gilda Radner Ovarian Cancer Detection Center in Los Angeles and co-founding Gilda's Club.

After his last contribution to acting in 2003 – a guest role on Will & Grace for which he received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor – Wilder turned his attention to writing. He produced a memoir in 2005, Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art; a collection of stories, What Is This Thing Called Love? (2010); and the novels My French Whore (2007), The Woman Who Wouldn't (2008) and Something to Remember You By (2013).

Contents

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1967 Bonnie and Clyde Eugene Grizzard
1968 The Producers Leo Bloom
1970 Start the Revolution Without Me The twins Claude and Philippe
1970 Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx Quackser Fortune
1971 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Willy Wonka
1972 Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) Dr. Doug Ross
1974 Rhinoceros Stanley Based on Eugène Ionesco's play Rhinoceros
1974 Blazing Saddles Jim, "The Waco Kid"
1974 The Little Prince The Fox
1974 Young Frankenstein Dr. Frederick Frankenstein Also writer
1975 The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother Sigerson Holmes Also director and writer
1976 Silver Streak George Caldwell
1977 The World's Greatest Lover Rudy Valentine, aka Rudy Hickman Also producer, director, and writer
1979 The Frisco Kid Avram Belinski
1980 Sunday Lovers Skippy Directed "Skippy" segment
1980 Stir Crazy Skip Donahue
1982 Hanky Panky Michael Jordon
1984 The Woman in Red Teddy Pierce Also director and writer
1986 Haunted Honeymoon Larry Abbot Also director and writer
1989 See No Evil, Hear No Evil Dave Lyons Also writer
1990 Funny About Love Duffy Bergman
1991 Another You George/Abe Fielding

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1966 Death of a Salesman Bernard Television film
1972–77 The Electric Company Voice for The Adventures of Letterman Recurring role
1972 The Scarecrow Lord Ravensbane/The Scarecrow Television film
1974 Thursday's Game Harry Evers Television film
1994–95 Something Wilder Gene Bergman Lead role
1999 Murder in a Small Town Larry "Cash" Carter Television film; co-written with Gilbert Pearlman
1999 Alice in Wonderland The Mock Turtle Television film
1999 The Lady in Question Larry "Cash" Carter Television film; co-written with Gilbert Pearlman
2002–03 Will & Grace Mr. Stein Episodes: "Boardroom and a Parked Place", "Sex, Losers & Videotape"

Documentaries

  • "Expo: Magic of the White City" (2005)

Stage




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Gene Wilder" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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