Farewell Gene Wilder
So far, 2016 has taken away three of my most cherished and beloved actors. Actors that I have watched and adored since I was a small child. Gene Wilder was one of those actors. Some of my most favorite childhood memories is pulling out a VHS and popping it in the player at my grandparent’s house.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when I was a kid. Admittedly I adored Willy Wonka with his curly blonde hair and his bright blue eyes. Gene Wilder is and will always be my Willy Wonka taking me to a world of imagination. His voice is forever etched into my memory. So soft spoken and kind, yet on occasion hysterical. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was always in the VHS player at my grandparent’s house when my brother, cousin and I were there. Unless my grandma needed a nap, she would then put on Jurassic Park… It scared us kids so bad when we were young.
However as I grew older, I was introduced to the world of Mel Brooks. Instantly, Blazing Saddles became one of my favortite movies. In it, Gene Wilder played Jim the sharpshooter who helped out Sheriff Bart win over the hearts of the racist townspeople. That movie is a classic. He was also in Young Frankenstein where he played Doctor Frankenstein. I had such a crush on him in that movie. Again, it’s a Mel Brooks’ comedy and is absolutely brilliant.
I also adore The Frisco Kid starring Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford. In it, Gene Wilder played a Rabbi trying to travel from Poland to San Francisco to meet his new congregation he would be the Rabbi for. Well… This Rabbi is too trusting for his own good and ends up being befriended by a bank robber. He just felt sorry for the guy. Either way, that movie is hysterical.
On top of it all, I even bought and read his book, The Woman Who Wouldn’t. It’s the story of a man who went off the deep end and was sent to a recovery place. There he met a woman who was dying and they fall in love. It’s a very sweet story. The only reason why I had purchased the book is because Gene Wilder had written it.
Gene Wilder, you were an amazing talented man. I’m so sad that you are gone, but I hope you find peace in the after life. You will live on in your books and movies. Thank you for all the amazing thing you had created throughout the years. You will forever be missed.