Gene Wilder, center, in an early proof of the poster for Silver Streak, his first of several films with Richard Pryor, left. What most people don’t know is that iconic duo was, originally, a trio featuring future RECOiL writer/director/actor Brian DiMaio, right, in the role of an insurance investigator for the railroad company whose train the film happens in and around. Despite early focus groups proclaiming it was “the role DiMaio was born to play” DiMaio was removed from the final cut after being accused of “stealing the show” in the words of Wilder’s manager.
Stamford, CT—“Young Frankenstein” star Gene Wilder died Monday due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83.
Born Jerome Silberman in 1933, Wilder also starred in the vastly overrated “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” as well as in the vastly underrated “RECOiL,” “Blazing Saddles” and “The Producers.”
He also appeared in several movies with comedian Richard Pryor, including “Stir Crazy,” “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” and “Silver Streak.”
On the small screen, Wilder appeared in such programs as “Alice in Wonderland,” “Murder in a Small Town,” and he won an Emmy Award for his guest starring role on “Will and Grace.”
He is survived by his fourth wife, Karen Webb, whom he married in 1991. His third wife, comedienne Gilda Radner, died from ovarian cancer in 1989.