HomeActorGene Wilder Biography: Age, Family, Religion, Grandson, Wife and Daughter

Gene Wilder Biography: Age, Family, Religion, Grandson, Wife and Daughter

Gene Wilder was a famous American actor, comedian, writer, and filmmaker who is best recognized for his iconic comedic roles of Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971).

Sadly, this legendary actor and comedian passed away on August 29, 2016, at age 83 after contributing over 50 years in the entertainment industry.

Wilder throughout his career has appeared in several movies and also made multiple movies as a filmmaker.

Likewise, this late actor also won multiple accolades for his acting talent including the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and more.

Besides his acting career, Wilder also produced a memoir, Kiss Me Like a Stranger in 2005 including five other books.

Moreover, Gene Wilder wrote and directed several movies including, The Woman in Red (1984).

Well, having a remarkable career, as a legendary actor, comedian, writer, and filmmaker, people are still curious to know everything about Gene Wilder including his personal and professional life.

Gene Wilder Bio

Full Name Jerome Silberman
Date of Birth June 11, 1933
Birthplace Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died August 29, 2016 (aged 83)
Occupation Actor, Writer, Comedian, Filmmaker
Parents Father: William J Silberman
Mother: Jeanne Baer
Siblings Corinne Silberman Pearlman
Height 5 Feet 10 Inches
Nationality American
Religion Jewish
Ethnicity Jewish Russian-American
Spouses Mary Mercier (m. 1960, div. 1965)
Mary Joan Schutz (m. 1967, div. 1974)
Gilda Radner (m. 1984, div. 1989)
Karen Boyer (m. 1991)
Children 1
Years active 1961-2005 (as actor)
1998-2013 (as author)

Gene Wilder Biography: Age and Family

Jerome Silberman aka, Gene Wilder was born on June 11, 1933, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States.

Wilder lived for 83 years until he died on August 29, 2016.

He was born to his father, William J. Silberman, and his mother, Jeanne Baer. His father was a manufacturer and salesman of novelty items who was a Jewish Russian immigrant.

From the early age of eight, Gene developed his interest in acting when his mother was diagnosed with rheumatic fever and the doctor told him to make his mother laugh.

Similarly, her sister was also into acting and studied acting and performed on stage. Looking at her sister performing on the stage made him even more interested in acting.

Likewise, Gene performed for the first time at age 15, as Balthasar in a production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Gene Wilder Education

With an interest in becoming an actor, his mother Jeanne sent him to Black-Foxe, a military institute in Hollywood.

As a Jewish boy, he was bullied and sexually assaulted in school and returned home continuing his education at Washington High School in Milwaukee.

Wilder then studied Communication and Theatre Arts at the University of Iowa and became a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity.

After graduating from Iowa in 1955, Wilder went to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, England.

He then returned to the United States and enrolled at the HB Studio.

Gene Wilder Ethnicity and Religion

Born and raised in the United States, Gene Wilder holds an American nationality and belongs to the mixed ethnic group as his father was a Jewish Russian immigrant to the United States. Therefore, Gene Wilder ethnicity is Jewish Russian-American.

Likewise, as per his religious belief, Gene Wilder is Jewish. He stated, “I have no other religion. I feel very Jewish and I feel very grateful to be Jewish. But I don’t believe in God or anything to do with the Jewish religion.”

Gene Wilder Wife and Daughter

Late American actor, comedian, writer, and filmmaker, Gene Wilder had married four different women throughout his life.

While studying at the HB Studio, Wilder met his first wife, Mary Mercier and the couple married on July 22, 1960.

However, the couple got divorced in 1965 as they had to stay apart for a long period of time.

Likewise, Wilder then began dating Mary Joan Schutz, a friend of his sister. Eventually, they got married on October 27, 1967.

Schutz had a daughter, Katharine from her previous marriage and Wilder adopted Katharine as her own daughter.

Unfortunately, the couple was separated and divorced after seven years of marriage in 1974.

After that, Wilder met Gilda Radner, an actress on August 13, 1981. During the time, Radner was married to guitarist, G.E. Smith.

However, the couple shared feelings and began dating each other. Eventually, they got married on September 4, 1984, after Radner divorced Smith in 1982.

Although the couple wanted to have children, Radner suffered miscarriages and was found to have ovarian cancer.

Sadly, his third wife, Gilda Radner died on May 20, 1989, due to cancer.

Lastly, Gene Wilder married his fourth wife, Karen Boyer on September 8, 1991. The couple lived in Stamford, Connecticut in the 1734 Colonial home.

Gene Wilder Death

An American legendary actor, Gene Wilder died on August 29, 2016, at age 83. He passed away at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, due to the complications of Alzheimer’s disease.

Wilder had been diagnosed with the disease for three years which he kept private from the media.

Although Wilder was suffering from the disease he kept it private not to sadden his fans of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

According to his family, Wilder died listening to one of his favorite songs, “Over the Rainbow” by Ella Fitzgerald.

In remembrance of Gene Wilder, a documentary film was produced in May 2023 titled, “Remembering Gene Wilder” by Julie Nimoy and David Knight. The documentary was premiered at the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival.

Does Gene Wilder have a Grandson?

Many rumors had arisen that Jeremy Allen White might be the grandson of Gene Wilder as Jeremy looks a lot like Gene Wilder.

However, Gene Wilder and Jeremy Allen White are not related and Jeremy is not a grandson of Gene.

You might also be interested in: Chance Perdomo Wikipedia: Parents, Ethnicity and Religion>>

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who was Gene Wilder?

Gene Wilder was a famous American actor, comedian, writer, and filmmaker.

How old was Gene Wilder?

Gene Wilder was 83 years of age at the time of his death.

When did Gene Wilder die?

Gene Wilder died on August 29, 2016.

How did Gene Wilder die?

Gene Wilder died due to the complication of Alzheimer’s disease.

What is Gene Wilder’s religion?

Gene Wilder’s religion is Jewish.

Who is Gene Wilder’s daughter?

Gene Wilder’s daughter is Katherine Wilder.


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