Gene Wilder June 11, 1933 – August 29, 2016, was an American comic actor in film and theater, screenwriter, film director, and author.
Wilder began his career on stage, and made his screen debut in an episode of the TV series The Play of the Week in 1961. Although his first film role was portraying a hostage in the 1967 motion picture Bonnie and Clyde, Wilder's first major role was as Leopold Bloom in the 1968 film The Producers for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Wilder was born Jerome Silberman on June 11, 1933, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Jeanne and William J. Silberman, a manufacturer and salesman of novelty items. His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant, as were his maternal grandparents. Wilder first became interested in acting at age 8, when his mother was diagnosed with rheumatic fever and the doctor told him to "try and make her laugh."
Wilder was inducted into the Wisconsin Performing Arts Hall of Fame, at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Tuesday April 9, 1991.