Gene Wilder Dead at 83 (Tribute – We Look back) #genewilderdead

VARIOUS - 1979Gene Wilder Dead at 83

Another great one leaves us. He was known for comedy classics like “The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein which he also co-wrote),” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Stir Crazy,”His family confirmed that he died today, at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. In 1989 he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The frizzy-haired actor was even known to the young “Generation Z” as that meme guy. Tipping the hat to one of his best loved roles of Willy Wonka.

In 1984 he co-wrote, directed and starred in “The Woman in Red,” with his then wife Gilda Radner (who died of Ovarian cancer in 1989) and gave model Kelly Le Brock her first acting gig. He also won an Emmy in 2003 for a guest role on “Will & Grace.”

He was born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on June 11, 1933. He adopted “Gene Wilder” for his professional name at the age of 26, explaining “I had always liked Gene because of Thomas Wolfe’s character Eugene Gant and I was always a great admirer of writer Thornton Wilder. He got the acting bug when he only 8.

His first professional gig was in the 1961 off-broadway’s “Roots” and five years later he debuted on TV as Bernard in Death of a Salesman.

The world fell in love with his characters, many in Mel Brooks projects like the over the top accountant Leo Bloom in “The Producers” and by 1974 all hell broke loose with two big ones The Waco Kid in

“Blazing Saddles” and Dr. Frederick Frankenstein in “Young Frankenstein.”

His pairing with Richard Pryor also hit the spot a few times with 1978’s “Silver Streak,” and 1980’s “Stir Crazy”

He married his fourth wife Karen Boyer in 1991.- by John Beaudin

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