Jerome Silberman, known professionally as Gene Wilder, was born on the 11th of June 1933 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant, while his mother was of Russian Jewish descent.
Gene made his film debut in the 1967 film “Bonnie and Clyde“. A year later he became one of the biggest names in comedy. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the 1968 film “The Producers“. This was the first in a series of collaborations with the director/writer Mel Brooks, including 1974’s “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein“, which Gene 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 & the Chocolate Factory” and for his films with Richard Pryor: “Silver Streak”, “Stir Crazy”, “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” and “Another You”. He also wrote and directed several of his own films, including “The Woman In Red”. Gene also starred in 3 movies, 2 of which he directed, with his third wife Gilda Radner. He received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor for his last contribution to acting as a guest role on “Will & Grace”.
Wilder died on 29th of August, 2016, at the age of 83, at home in Stamford, Connecticut, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was diagnosed with the condition three years ago, but he wanted to keep it private.