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Glenn Wilder

Glenn Wilder

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Also Known As: Glen Wilder, Glenn R Wilder Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession:

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

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...

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.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Derailed (2001)
2.
  Simon Birch (1998)
3.
  Firestorm (1998) 2nd Unit Director (2nd Unit)
4.
5.
  Cisco Kid, The (1994) 2nd Unit Director (2nd Unit)
6.
  True Lies (1994)
7.
  Cop And A Half (1993) 2nd Unit Director (2nd Unit)
8.
  Point Break (1991)
9.
  Masterblaster (1987) Director
10.
  High School U.S.A. (1983) 2nd Unit Director (2nd Unit)

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Get Hard (2015)
3.
 Conspirator, The (2011)
5.
 Night Train (1990)
6.
 Action Jackson (1988)
7.
 Outlaws, The (1984)
10.
 Convoy (1978)
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