The loss is felt keenly by greats in the film industry, including producer / director Mel Brooks, who said on the Jimmy Kimmel show that he “misses being able to call him.”
Born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Wilder went on to become not just an comic actor in film and on the stage, but a prolific screenwriter, film director, and author.
Wilder’s son reported that Gene died of Alzheimer’s complications peacefully in his Stamford, Connecticut home, where he had been living with his fourth wife, Karen Boyer.
The pair valued their privacy and not many images of the house exist for public consumption. An aerial view and an old photograph of Gene and Gilda are all that are easily found today.
Gene had also previously owned a mansion in Bel Air – he sold it in 2013 for 6.75 million to tech billionaire Elon Musk, who owned another home on the same street. The actor had decided it was time to consolidate, and lived out the rest of his days, succumbing slowly to Alzheimer’s, in the Stamford home with his wife Karen by his side.
Just last month, Nestle launched a huge open house in Switzerland, much of which feels like a tribute to Wilder’s stint as the titular character in Willy Wonka. It couldn’t have come at a more fitting time. The expansive property is surreal and delightful by turns, and one can easily visualize Wilder in his celebrated role, wandering his world once again.
(images courtesy of MLS, HuffPo, Stuff.co, and Wikipedia)