Gene Wilder was a national treasure, and if you plumb the Carney Archives for the best conversations ever, Gene’s would be among the few that make the short list. Appearing in not one, but several of John’s favorite movies (The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles), Gene has been as ubiquitous, as he was mysterious. Much like his most famous role, Willy Wonka, he was at the same time both fantastic, and reserved. In this long interview we got with him in 2006, after he put out his memoir “Kiss Me Like A Stranger: My Search for Love and Art,” Gene was a bit standoffish at first, and soft-spoken. But as the conversation moved on to his career, he opened up, and shared many thoughtful stories and a few behind the scenes peeks at some of our favorite films.
Gene passed away yesterday at age 83, due to complications from Alzheimer’s.