Magazine article Screen International

Gene Wilder Dies at 83

Magazine article Screen International

Gene Wilder Dies at 83

Article excerpt

Wilder was born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee on June 11, 1933, to a Russian émigré and novelty item salesman and a sick and temperamental mother.

As a young man he acted in community theatre and attended the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in England before embarking on a career on Broadway.

He made his film debut in 1967 in Bonnie And Clyde as a neurotic kidnap victim snatched by the title characters played by Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty.

His first lead role shortly afterwards, as the calculating Leo Bloom in Mel Brooks' The Producers, earned a supporting actor Academy nod in 1969.

After that entrée to Hollywood, Wilder went on to play a handful of mostly eccentric and colourful characters in celebrated Hollywood films of the 1970s and 1980s.

Credits include the lead role in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, a doctor with a sheep fetish in Woody Allen's All You Ever Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask and a somewhat more subdued part in Mel Brooks' western send-up Blazing Saddles. …

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