“It’s pronounced “Fronkensteen”, Gene Wilder matter-of-factly advised Marty Feldman, early in the comedy classic ‘Young Frankenstein.’
One of many genius moments brought to life by the iconic and legendary actor and comedian Gene Wilder, who sadly passed away yesterday of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83 years of age.
Born Jerome Silberman, Wilder began studying acting at the age of 12. He would go on to have a long and outstanding career in Hollywood and elsewhere, though his debut was actually in an Off Broadway play, ‘Roots.’
He struck up a friendship with Mel Brooks back in 1963, and such liaison would lead to Wilder’s most successful work in comedy classics such as ‘The Producers (1967),’ ‘Blazing Saddles (1974),’ and of course, ‘Young Frankenstein (1974).’ This was Wilder’s heyday, and though he did some good work in later years, specially alongside fellow comedian Richard Pryor, he arguably never reached such heights again.
His last acting work was back in 2002-2003, in two episodes of the sitcom ‘Will and Grace.’
And so the lovable actor who also brought rogue chocolate factory owner Willy Wonka to life says goodbye forever.
Wilder is survived by his fourth wife Karen Boyer, whom he married in 1991, and his nephew. His sister Corinne, predeceased him in January 2016.