“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”
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.
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 and 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).
Gene 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.