1935 – Gene Wilder Born

On this date Gene Wilder (aka Jerome Silberman) was born in Milwaukee. Wilder graduated from Washington High School in Milwaukee in 1951. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in 1955. and studied judo, fencing, gymnastics and voice at the Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, England. Wilder won the Clarence Derwent award for the Broadway play “The Complaisant Lover” in 1962. He continued to perform on Broadway in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1963), Dynamite Tonight (1964), and The White House (1964). Wilder made his film debut in Bonnie and Clyde (1967), then earned an Oscar nomination the following year as the accountant Leo Bloom in The Producers, the first of three films he made for writer-director Mel Brooks. Wilder is known for his work in such films as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972), Blazing Saddles (1973), and Young Frankenstein (1974). After his second wife Gilda Radner died of ovarian cancer, Wilder co-founded Gilda’s Club, a support group to raise awareness of the disease. [Source: ]