Have you heard the news that one of the most popular memes on the Internet, Gene Wilder, passed away on August 29, 2016? Learn more about his personality and professional path in this article.
Sad news has shaken the Wilders’ house: Gene Wilder, a famous comedian and most known for the Internet meme has died on August 29, 2016. As his doctors stated, he suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. And his health condition got worse within the recent days. So on Monday he died from the complications of his illness.
No information on his funeral was available when the journalists inquired about it, so it is no known yet when his friends, relatives and maybe even fans will be able to pay last respects.
For those of you who are not familiar with Gene Wilder’s biography and the path to fame, here is what you need to know about this bright personality. Gene Wilder is a professional name of Jerome Silberman. He was born in Wisconsin to a family of Russian Jewish immigrants. He picked up his stage name at the age of 26. As he explained, he chose the first name of Eugene Gant from Look Homeward, Angel, and last name of Thornton Wilder whose acting he adored.
Gene Wilder started acting when he was thirteen. He first realized he wanted to be an actor when he was eleven. He one came to see his sister playing and got so excited about playing on the stage that he asked her teacher whether he would teach acting to Gene as well. However, the teacher only agreed to accept him as a student when he reached the age of thirteen.
Unfortunately, his early experience as an actor was a sorrowful one. His mother willing to give her son a chance to become a professional actor sent her son to Black-Foxe which is in Hollywood. However, as soon as the students realized that Wilder was the only Jewish student there they started bullying him and even harassed him sexually. So he decided to leave that educational establishment and join the theater troop back in his hometown.
It did not take him too long before he became a professional actor and got his first job on a professional stage when he was a fifteen-years-old teenage boy. Wilder respected his Jewish roots. Nevertheless, when asked years later he stated that he believes only in the philosophy Jews stick to not in the religion of his people. As a matter of fact, he claimed to be an atheist.
Gene Wilder graduated from the Iowa University having his major in Theatrical Arts. The next few years he spent in England at the Old Vic Theatre School, and then he moved back to the United States to study Stanislavsky system. That is when he was called up to the army, but having a chance to choose any post after his medical training, he chose the base closest to New York to be able to take acting classes there.
It was during his military service years that his mother died. It had a great impact on his life. But Gene Wilder came back to his sense and resumed studying after the army while still working at different places to make his living.
Among his early performances is the Second Officer in the “Twelfth Night” as well as nonfeatured roles in Sir Arnold Wesker's Roots and Graham Greene's The Complaisant Lover. However, his most famous role was that of Willy Wonka in “Charlie and a Chocolate Factory”. There is an interesting story of how Gene Wilder became our favorite Willy Wonka.
When Wilder was first invited for an auditioning for the leading role of Willy Wonka in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” he came with a few lines which he recited and was about to leave and wait for a call back by the directors. However, the producers offered him a part right away. For some reasons Wilder did not want to play Willy Wonka in a way the producers wanted him to, so after some thinking, he offered them a deal.
Wilder mentioned that he would only accept their proposition if they do what he asked them. He wanted to add changes to the first scene when the viewers meet him. Here is what he wanted this scene to look like:
“When I make my first entrance, I'd like to come out of the door carrying a cane and then walk toward the crowd with a limp. After the crowd sees Willy Wonka is a cripple, they all whisper to themselves and then become deathly quiet. As I walk toward them, my cane sinks into one of the cobblestones I'm walking on and stands straight up, by itself... but I keep on walking until I realize that I no longer have my cane. I start to fall forward, and just before I hit the ground, I do a beautiful forward somersault and bounce back up, to great applause.”
The directors agreed to make it his way, and his idea turned out to be a real success, so they never regretted letting him have his way as Willy Wonka character. Among other movies Gene Wilder appeared in are “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967), “Start the Revolution Without Me” (1970), “The Little Prince” (1974), “Yong Frankenstein” (1974), “The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother” (1975), “The World's Greatest Lover” (1977), “Sunday Lovers” (1980), “The Woman in Red” (1984), “Funny About Love” (1990) and many others.
Gene Wilder was not only an actor but also am the author of several popular books. One of the books “Gilda’s Disease” is an overview of ovarian cancer that claimed lives of his wife and earlier his mother. This book is based on scientific information about the disease as well as personal comments by Wilder that make it both informative and heart-breaking. '
The other book by Gene Wilder is Kiss Me Like a Stranger” in which he reveals the hidden search for love and truth in his life. Here the author answers difficult questions about his personal life and professional achievements. Moreover, he answers difficult questions like those of what of his affairs outside of marriage and lies about his personality.
The next book you should read by Gene Wilder is “My French Whore” which is based on a love story that happened between two people during the World War I. You will enjoy this book as well as “The Woman Who Wouldn’t”, “What Is This Thing Called Love”, and “Something To Remember You By” thanks to a great talent of Gene Wilder who was capable of telling the story in such a way that all the scenes as if get live like a film.
So the loss of Gene Wilder is truly grievous. He was a man of many great talents and a bright personality. RIP Gene Wilder, and thank you for sharing your talent with the world.