Gene Wilder

Gene Wilder

Highest Rated: 94% Young Frankenstein (1974)

Lowest Rated: 0% Funny About Love (1990)

Birthday: Jun 11, 1933

Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Comedic actor Gene Wilder caught his first big break playing a small roll in the off-Broadway production of Arnold Wesker's "Roots" and followed quickly with his Broadway debut as the comic valet in "The Complaisant Lover" (both 1961), for which he won the Clement Derwent Award. His other Broadway credits included "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1963, with Kirk Douglas), "The White House" (1964, with Helen Hayes), and "Luv" (1966), but it was a 1963 Broadway production of "Mother Courage and Her Children" that altered the course of his life forever. In its cast was Anne Bancroft, who was dating Mel Brooks at the time, and the relationship established between the two men eventually led to Wilder's becoming part of Brooks' "stock company." His Actor's Studio connection may have helped him land his first feature, Arthur Penn's "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967), in which he drew much favorable attention in a small but memorable role as a frightened young undertaker abducted by the legendary duo. Wilder's performance as the endearingly frantic Leo Bloom in "The Producers" (1967) kicked off his celebrated collaboration with Brooks and garnered him an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor. His career gained momentum as he played a swashbuckler in Bud Yorkin's "Start the Revolution without Me" (1970), the candy impresario of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (1971) and a sheep-smitten doctor in Woody Allen's "Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex* (* but were afraid to ask)" (197). But the hilarity was just beginning, Wilder reteamed with Brooks for the inspired lunacy of "Blazing Saddles" and "Young Frankenstein" (both 1974), earning his second Oscar nomination for his first-time screenwriting efforts (along with Brooks) on the latter. Spurred by these triumphs, Wilder made his directorial debut (in addition to acting and starring) with "The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother" (1975), featuring actors from the Brooks' troupe like Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman and Dom DeLuise. His first association with Richard Pryor had come on "Blazing Saddles," but Pryor (co-screenwriter) had lost out in his bid for the Cleavon Little role. The two first acted together in the highly entertaining and commercially successful "Silver Streak" (1976) and scored at the box office again with "Stir Crazy" (1980), but their later efforts "See No Evil, Hear No Evil" (1989) and "Another You" (1991) were less successful, the final film particularly marred by Pryor's all-too-apparent real-life health problems. Ironically, "Hanky Panky" (1982), Wilder's first of three films with his wife Gilda Radner, would have paired him with Pryor, but Pryor's unavailability necessitated rewriting the part for Radner. Wilder went on to star in "The Woman in Red" (1984), a broad remake of the French farce "Pardon Mon Affaire." After Radner's 1991 death from cancer, Wilder starred in the short-lived NBC sitcom "Something Wilder" (1994-95) and made his London stage debut in Neil Simon's "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" in 1996. Battling health issues, Wilder went into retirement, with his final screen role coming in a pair of episodes of the sitcom "Will and Grace" (NBC 1998-2006) in 2002 and 2003. Wilder began a second career as an author with the 2005 memoir Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art, followed by a short story collection and three novels. Gene Wilder died of complications from Alzheimer's Disease in Stamford, Connecticut on August 29, 2016. He was 83.

Highest rated movies

Photos

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet 62% Role Model: Gene Wilder Unknown (Character) - 2008
No Score Yet 69% Expo: Magic of the White City Unknown (Character) - 2005
No Score Yet No Score Yet Murder in a Small Town Cash Carter (Character) - 1999
33% 62% Alice in Wonderland Mock Turtle (Character) - 1999
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Lady in Question Larry "Cash" Carter (Character),
Screenwriter
- 1999
11% 34% Another You George/Abe Fielding (Character) $2.5M 1991
0% 13% Funny About Love Duffy Bergman (Character) $7.6M 1990
28% 72% See No Evil, Hear No Evil Dave Lyons (Character),
Screenwriter
$45.4M 1989
18% 53% Haunted Honeymoon Larry Abbot (Character),
Director
$7.5M 1986
35% 38% The Woman in Red Teddy Pierce (Character),
Director,
Screenwriter
- 1984
33% 30% Hanky Panky Michael Jordon (Character) - 1982
No Score Yet No Score Yet Sunday Lovers Skippy (Character),
Director
- 1981
67% 75% Stir Crazy Skip Donahue (Character) - 1980
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Frisco Kid Avram (Character) - 1979
15% 53% The World's Greatest Lover Rudy Valentine/Rudy Hickman (Character),
Director,
Screenwriter,
Producer
- 1977
81% 71% Silver Streak George (Character) - 1976
71% 57% The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother Sigerson Holmes (Character),
Director,
Screenwriter
- 1975
No Score Yet 70% Thursday's Game Harry Evers (Character) - 1974
No Score Yet 51% Rhinoceros Stanley (Character) - 1974
94% 92% Young Frankenstein Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Character),
Screenwriter
- 1974
88% 91% Blazing Saddles Jim: The Waco Kid (Character) - 1974
No Score Yet 69% The Little Prince The Fox (Character) - 1974
88% 69% Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) Dr. Doug Ross (Character) - 1972
90% 87% Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Willy Wonka (Character) - 1971
No Score Yet 64% Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx Quackser Fortune (Character) - 1970
83% 77% Start the Revolution Without Me Claude/Philippe (Character) - 1970
90% 85% The Producers Leo Bloom (Character) $111.9K 1968
88% 88% Bonnie and Clyde Eugene Grizzard (Character) - 1967

TV

Credit
No Score Yet 87% Will & Grace Mr. Stein (Guest Star) 2002-2003
No Score Yet No Score Yet Larry King Live Unknown (Character) 2002
No Score Yet No Score Yet Alice in Wonderland Mock Turtle (Voice) 1999
No Score Yet No Score Yet Inside the Actors Studio Guest 1996
No Score Yet No Score Yet Something Wilder Gene Bergman (Character) 1994-1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Dick Cavett Show Guest 1969

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