Sadly, the beloved Gene Wilder died in 2016. From The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein to Willy Wonka, Wilder kept us laughing for years. However, there’s a lot most people never knew about Wilder. Of course, you may have heard about his tragic love with Gilda Radner, but you probably didn’t hear about that one secret he kept until the bitter end.
New Wonka Won’t Do
Of course, everyone knows Gene Wilder for his role as the eccentric Willy Wonka. However, Johnny Depp attempted that role in the 2005 Tim Burton remake. Wilder commented in 2007 that he was not interested in Depp’s portrayal of the character. Wilder said, “The thing that put me off…I like Johnny Depp, I like him, as an actor I like him very much…but when I saw little pieces in the promotion of what he was doing, I said I don’t want to see the film, because I don’t want to be disappointed in him.” Harsh or just honest?
Keeping His Mother Alive
Apparently, Gene Wilder first became inspired to have a career in comedy when he mother almost died from a heart attack. At the time, Gene was only 8 years old, but he took the doctor’s words to heart. The doctor said, “Don’t ever argue with your mother – you might kill her…Try to make her laugh.” He claimed that moment forever changed his life.