PDA

View Full Version : Gene Wilder passes away


Autbot_Benz
08-29-2016, 02:34 PM
Gene Wilder, who regularly stole the show in such comedic gems as “The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Stir Crazy,” died Monday at his home in Stamford, Conn. His nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman said he died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83.

He had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1989.

The comic actor, who was twice Oscar nominated, for his role in “The Producers” and for co-penning “Young Frankenstein” with Mel Brooks, usually portrayed a neurotic who veered between total hysteria and dewy-eyed tenderness. “My quiet exterior used to be a mask for hysteria,” he told Time magazine in 1970. “After seven years of analysis, it just became a habit.”

Habit or not, he got a great deal of mileage out of his persona in the 1970s for directors like Mel Brooks and Woody Allen, leading to a few less successful stints behind the camera, the best of which was “The Woman in Red,” co-starring then-wife Gilda Radner. Wilder was devastated by Radner’s death from ovarian cancer in 1989 and worked only intermittently after that. He tried his hand briefly at a sitcom in 1994, “Something Wilder,” and won an Emmy in 2003 for a guest role on “Will & Grace.”

His professional debut came in Off Broadway’s “Roots” in 1961, followed by a stint on Broadway in Graham Greene’s comedy “The Complaisant Lover,” which won him a Clarence Derwent Award as promising newcomer. His performance in the 1963 production of Brecht’s “Mother Courage” was seen by Mel Brooks, whose future wife, Anne Bancroft, was starring in the production; a friendship with Brooks would lead to some of Wilder’s most successful film work. For the time being, however, Wilder continued to work onstage, in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in 1963 and “Dynamite Tonight” and “The White House” the following year. He then understudied Alan Arkin and Gabriel Dell in “Luv,” eventually taking over the role.

Wilder also worked in television in 1962’s “The Sound of Hunting,” “The Interrogators,” “Windfall” and in the 1966 TV production of “Death of a Salesman” with Lee J. Cobb. He later starred in TV movies including “Thursday’s Game” and the comedy-variety special “Annie and the Hoods,” both in 1974.

In 1967 Wilder essayed his first memorable bigscreen neurotic, Eugene Grizzard, a kidnapped undertaker in Arthur Penn’s classic “Bonnie and Clyde.”

Then came “The Producers,” in which he played the hysterical Leo Bloom, an accountant lured into a money bilking scheme by a theatrical producer played by Zero Mostel. Directed and written by Brooks, the film brought Wilder an Oscar nomination as best supporting actor. With that, his film career was born.

He next starred in a dual role with Donald Sutherland in “Start the Revolution Without Me,” in which he displayed his fencing abilities. It was followed by another middling comedy, “Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx,” also in 1970.

In 1971 he stepped into the shoes of Willie Wonka, one of his most beloved and gentle characters. Based on the children’s book by Roald Dahl, “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” was not an immediate hit but became a children’s favorite over the years. The same cannot be said for the 1974 Stanley Donen-directed musical version of “The Little Prince,” in which Wilder appeared as the fox. He had somewhat better luck in Woody Allen’s spoof “Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex,” appearing in a hilarious segment in which he played a doctor who falls in love with a sheep named Daisy.

Full-fledged film stardom came with two other Brooks comedies, both in 1974: Western spoof “Blazing Saddles” and a wacko adaptation of Mary Shelley’s famous book entitled “Young Frankenstein,” in which Wilder portrayed the mad scientist with his signature mixture of hysteria and sweetness.

Working with Brooks spurred Wilder to write and direct his own comedies, though none reached the heights of his collaborations with Brooks. The first of these was “The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Younger Brother” (1975), in which he included such Brooks regulars as Madeline Kahn and Marty Feldman. It was followed by 1977’s “The World’s Greatest Lover,” which he also produced.

Wilder fared better, however, when he was working solely in front of the camera, particularly in a number of films in which he co-starred with Richard Pryor.

The first of these was 1978’s “Silver Streak,” a spoof of film thrillers set on trains; 1980’s “Stir Crazy” was an even bigger hit, grossing more than $100 million. Wilder and Pryor’s two other pairings, “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” and “Another You,” provided diminishing returns, however.

While filming “Hanky Panky” in 1982, Wilder met “Saturday Night Live” comedienne Radner. She became his third wife shortly thereafter. Wilder and Radner co-starred in his most successful directing stint, “The Woman in Red” in 1984, and then “Haunted Honeymoon.” But Radner grew ill with cancer, and he devoted himself to her care, working sporadically after that and hardly at all after her death in 1989.

In the early ’90s he appeared in his last film with Pryor and another comedy, “Funny About Love.” In addition to the failed TV series “Something Wilder” in 1994, he wrote and starred in the A&E mystery telepics “The Lady in Question” and “Murder in a Small Town” in 1999. He also appeared as the Mock Turtle in a 1999 NBC adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland.”

He last acted in a couple of episodes of “Will and Grace” in 2002-03 as Mr. Stein, winning an Emmy.

He was born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee and began studying acting at the age of 12. After getting his B.A. from the U. of Iowa in 1955, Wilder enrolled in the Old Vic Theater school in Bristol, where he learned acting technique and fencing. When he returned to the U.S. he taught fencing and did other odd jobs while studying with Herbert Berghof’s HB Studio and at the Actors Studio under Lee Strasberg.

Wilder’s memoir “Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art” was published in 2005. After that he wrote fiction: the 2007 novel “My French Whore”; 2008’s “The Woman Who Wouldn’t”; a collection of stories, “What Is This Thing Called Love?,” in 2010; and the novella “Something to Remember You By: A Perilous Romance” in 2013.

Wilder was interviewed by Alec Baldwin for the one-hour TCM documentary “Role Model: Gene Wilder” in 2008. The actor was active in raising cancer awareness in the wake of Radner’s death.

Before Radner, Wilder was married to the actress-playwright Mary Mercier and Mary Joan Schutz (aka Jo Ayers). He is survived by his fourth wife Karen Boyer, whom he married in 1991, and his nephew.

http://variety.com/2016/film/news/gene-wilder-dead-dies-willie-wonka-young-frankenstein-1201846745/

plastroncafe
08-29-2016, 02:38 PM
r2pt2-F2j2g
Hold your breath.
Make a wish.
Count to three.

TurtleTitan97
08-29-2016, 02:43 PM
Aw man. :(

RIP Wonka

ZariusTwo
08-29-2016, 02:46 PM
He was amazing with Richard Pryor.:(

Powder
08-29-2016, 02:52 PM
Major bummer. What a talent.

DarkFell
08-29-2016, 03:30 PM
Goodbye Dr. Fronkensteen.
https://lovelace-media.imgix.net/uploads/1094/e55531c0-2c15-0134-0af4-0629623c6db9.jpg?

TheCanadiandrome
08-29-2016, 03:35 PM
man what a crazy 2016 it's been for losing so much beloved talent! RIP :(

snake
08-29-2016, 04:03 PM
RIP. I just watched the producers recently too

*NormalGamer*
08-29-2016, 04:03 PM
Damn. Another legend lost. R.I.P. Wilder. :( He will always be Willy Wonka in our eyes.

BubblyShell22
08-29-2016, 05:47 PM
Such sad news. He will definitely be missed and I loved him as Willy Wonka. I remember they had a reunion on The Today Show and he was there being interviewed along with some of the children.

GoldMutant
08-29-2016, 05:52 PM
"But Charlie, don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted… He lived happily ever after.” ~Gene Wilder

I would've loved to meet the man before this... regardless, he was an amazing actor. RIP Wilder, you brought us pure imagination for so long. :cry:

Mayhem
08-29-2016, 06:13 PM
http://memeshappen.com/media/created/in-life-he39s-Gene-Wilder-but-in-deathhe39s-willy-wonka-meme-20500.jpg

triplexxx
08-29-2016, 07:20 PM
Definitely a favorite childhood legend, glad he got to have a good 83 years. In WW&TCF, he & Aubrey Woods [Bill (the candy store owner), who passed on back in 2013 at 85] had the best singing voices in that movie. RIP Willy Wonka.

ranger_scout
08-29-2016, 07:23 PM
I've had an aching heart ever since I first heard about this. The man was a comedic genius. I've watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Young Frankenstein so many times. He will continue to live on his cinematic masterpieces.

Jephael
08-29-2016, 07:51 PM
It always saddened me that he quit acting so soon. He would've been awesome in just about any comic book movie from the last 16 years. Just give him any role you can think of that'd probably fit.

ranger_scout
08-29-2016, 08:15 PM
Earlier today Julie Dawn Cole, who played Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, wrote this on her Twitter.

Such very sad news. Words not enough. Treasured memories 💧

https://twitter.com/realverucasalt/status/770353225610457088

Raph's Girl
08-29-2016, 08:35 PM
TCM will be doing a tribute-athon on Sept 29th

https://scontent.fsnc1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/14183768_10154361293675396_5654720464225064299_n.p ng?oh=496fc9bf53b44388b985a50dfa2b7117&oe=583AE2F3

MsMarvelDuckie
08-30-2016, 05:11 PM
Wilder starred in two of my favorite Brooks films- Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. I loved him as Willy Wonka as well, so this is truly sad news. His comic genius will be greatly missed.