Gene Wilder has passed away at age 83. I only have one really good Gene Wilder story, and that was this: he came to a preview of the Broadway musical of “Young Frankenstein.” Minutes before the curtain went up, members of the audience noticed he was in the house and there was a buzz through the first act. As soon as the first act curtain went down, all of a sudden, a wave of applause erupted and there was a standing ovation. Wilder stood and was overcome. It was a beautiful moment. What I also remember is people yelling “Bravo” and “Thank you” to him.
I know there are “Willy Wonka” fans and “Silver Streak” fans. But it’s the Mel Books movies with Wilder that I cherish the most. And the thought that he loved Gilda Radner, whose death was cruel. Still he supported Gilda’s Clubs, which meant a huge difference to breast cancer patients.
Rest in peace, Gene.