Gene Wilder, star of Blazing Saddles, The Producers and Young Frankenstein writes a moving memoir that covers the course of his life. Gene Wilder grew up in Milwaukee in a Jewish home that was filled with love and laughter. Gene recalls his mother's heart attack when he was eight years old and the words that forever changed his life. His mother's doctor urged him never to fight with his mother and told young Gene to make her laugh. Gene took up the challenge and began to do funny Jewish and German accents. Gene recalls this being the genesis of his comedic roots. Due to his mother's illness Gene was sent to a military school in California, Black/Foxe school where he was persecuted by fellow students due to his being Jewish. When Gene's mother accidentally sees her son's bruises he never returns to Black/Foxe school. Throughout this time Gene is taking acting lessons and honing his craft. Gene's life changes during the summer of his 16th year when he is offered a job doing summer stock. Although is father disapproves, Gene takes the job. When Gene attends college an event occurs which he refers to as a burden. The burden is that Gene is struck at times with an urge to pray. This is an urge that Gene will experience throughout his lifetime. After college Gene has a tour of duty in the army then heads to New York city where he lights up the stages of Broadway. Gene is quite successful on Broadway and makes a name for himself in the industry. Gene details his first movie role which was in Bonnie and Clyde with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. In the late sixties Gene marries a woman named Margie who is a single mother raising her daughter Katie. At this point Gene has already been divorced, making this his second marriage. Over the next decade Gene makes his mark in films like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Blazing Saddles, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex and Young Frankenstein and Silver Streak. Sadly, Gene's marriage falls apart. Everything changes for Gene in 1981 when he meets comedienne Gilda Radner. Sparks fly and the two become romantically involved. Despite their great romance Gilda has many problems such as bulimia and low self esteem. Gilda and Gene marry and Gilda endures many procedures in her quest to become pregnant. Gilda and Gene's life takes a dramatic turn when Gilda is diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
This report prepared by Sandra Calhoune