I was going to end the day (late) with something lighthearted, invariably an animal video, but just got the news that Gene Wilder died. I had no idea he was 83, and the BBC said he died of “complications from Alzheimer’s disease.” He was, of course, Willy Wonka, but I’ve never seen that; I have seen the two films that garnered him an Academy Award nomination: “The Producers” (Best Supporting Actor), and “Young Frankenstein” (co-nominated with Mel Brooks for Best Adapted Screenplay).
His birth name was Jerome Silberman, so of course he was Jewish, and he was also married to Gilda Radner, another Jew. What I remember most about Wilder was how deeply he loved Radner, who died of 42 of ovarian cancer, and how movingly he wrote of their relationship and her death. Sadly, I can’t remember where I read it.
Two great comedians gone—and missed.