Generations of fans and colleagues who admired his comic genius are mourning the death of the great Gene Wilder.
Writer-director Mel Brooks, who collaborated with Wilder on his most popular movies (“Blazing Saddles,” “The Producers” and “Young Frankenstein”) on Twitter called him “one of the truly great talents of our time” and said “he blessed every film we did with his magic & he blessed me with his friendship.”
“Mel is not interested in romantic love in the movies … while I can hardly live without it,” Wilder told the Los Angeles Times in a 1977 interview. “On the other hand, what that Borscht Belt comic and this classically trained actor do have in common is that we both want to make the audience pee in their pants with laughter.”
Wilder, who was 83, died Sunday at his home in Stamford, Conn. of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, according to a statement issued by his nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman.
It was Wilder’s memorable turn in the 1971 movie “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” that spurred his decision to keep his condition private. His nephew said the actor didn’t want to confuse or disappoint young children who recognized him as the whimsical title character.
Wilder, who was nominated for Oscars for “Young Frankenstein” (screenplay) and “The Producers” (supporting actor), also gave notable performances in “Bonnie and Clyde” and “The Woman in Red” and successfully teamed with Richard Pryor in “Silver Streak,” “Stir Crazy,” “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” and “Another You.” .
Born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee on June 11, 1933, Wilder studied at the Old Vic Theatre School in England in the mid-1950s. In 1961 he became a member of the Actors Studio in New York, studying with Lee Strasberg, and he appeared on Broadway in 1963 in “Mother Courage and her Children” with Anne Bancroft, who would later marry Brooks.
Marriages to Mary Mercier and Mary Joan Schutz ended in divorce. While making “Hanky Panky” in 1982, Wilder met comedy great Gilda Radner, whom he married in 1984; they remained together until her death from cancer in 1989.
Wilder is survived by his fourth wife, Karen, whom he married in 1991,
WEINER STILL SEX CRAZED
Shamed former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who gained notoriety for lewd public photos, has done it again.
The New York Post reported that Weiner has been sexting a bosom-y woman who’s not his wife, and published the selfie, which shows him in white boxer briefs — with his son lying next to him.
The tabloid also printed screenshots of the pair’s exchanges, which began in late January 2015 after Weiner contacted her on Twitter.
Why are we not surprised to learn that his wife Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, announced that she is separating from him?
S.F. 49er Joe Staley is 32. … TV personality Lisa Ling is 43. … Actress Cameron Diaz is 44. … Actor Michael Chiklis is 53. … Comedian Lewis Black is 68. … Actress Peggy Lipton is 70. … Entrepreneur Warren Buffett is 86. … Actor Bill Daily is 89.
— Wire reports