Gene Wilder Net Worth At Death – How Did He Get Rich? Exposed!

Gene Wilder Net Worth At Death

Gene Wilder had an estimated net worth of $20 Million at deathActor Gene Wilder made his first huge splash as the title character in the film ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’ among other memorable roles. He earned the majority of his income from movies and TV shows. 

Gene Wilder made his film debut in 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde, but he rose to prominence as a favorite of writer/director Mel Brooks. His outrageous roles in films such as Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein established him as a comedy icon. Wilder became a serious novelist in his later years, writing a memoir as well as several novels. Until her death in 1989, he was married to fellow actor/comedian Gilda Radner. On August 28, 2016, he died at the age of 83.

To calculate the net worth of Gene Wilder, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as loans and personal debt, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Gene Wilder
Net Worth: $20 Million
Monthly Salary: $200 Thousand+
Annual Income: $2 Million+
Source of Wealth: Comedian, Actor, Author, Screenwriter, Film director, Writer

Early Life

Wilder was born on June 11, 1933, to a Jewish family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. William, his father, had immigrated from Russia. His mother, Jeanne, was frequently ill from rheumatic heart disease complications, and a doctor warned the eight-year-old Jerome, “Never argue with your mother because you might kill her. Make an attempt to make her laugh.” Wilder’s lifelong passion for acting began when he made his mother laugh by impersonating different accents. Wilder returned to Milwaukee after a brief stint at a California military academy and became involved in the local theater scene, making his stage debut as Balthasar in a production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Wilder studied communication and theater arts at the University of Iowa after graduating from high school, and then spent a year studying theater and fencing at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, United Kingdom. He returned to the United States to study the Stanislavski method of acting, but was quickly drafted into the United States Army and served as a medic in Pennsylvania for two years. Wilder then relocated to New York City, where he worked odd jobs such as fencing instructor to support himself while studying acting.

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Early Career

Wilder took the stage name Gene Wilder when he was 26 years old because he “couldn’t quite see a marquee reading ‘Jerry Silberman as Macbeth’.” His new first name was inspired by a character in a Thomas Wolfe novel, and his last name was inspired by the playwright Thornton Wilder. He began appearing in off-Broadway and Broadway shows on a regular basis. He met Anne Bancroft in a 1963 production of Mother Courage and Her Children, who introduced him to her boyfriend, Mel Brooks. Brooks and Wilder became fast friends, and Brooks decided to cast Wilder in a production of The Producers, a screenplay he was writing.

Lead in ‘Willy Wonka’

Wilder made his film debut in the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. A year later, he landed his first major role in The Producers, playing Leo Bloom opposite Zero Mostel’s Max Bialystock. Although the film was a box office flop and received mixed reviews, Wilder was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor. He quickly rose to prominence in Hollywood, appearing in a number of comedies, including the eccentric title character in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Willy Wonka brought to life Roald Dahl’s strange and wild book of the same name, and it solidified Wilder as a leading man who could hold his own in any comedic situation. Wilder chewed the scenery right into a Golden Globe nomination for best actor as the enigmatic Wonka, and he became known to a legion of young moviegoers.

Despite Wilder’s personal success, none of his films from this era were commercially successful. He finally broke his streak in Woody Allen’s 1972 film Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask). He then took a last-minute role in Mel Brooks’ 1974 comedy Blazing Saddles, a decision that would shape his career.

‘Blazing Saddles’ and ‘Young Frankenstein’

Blazing Saddles was a one-of-a-kind western that set out to offend every viewer in equal measure, eventually becoming a cult classic. Wilder had a busy year in 1974, as he reunited with Mostel for Rhinoceros, played a fox in The Little Prince, and co-wrote Young Frankenstein with Brooks. Young Frankenstein, like Blazing Saddles, set out to turn an established genre, this time horror, on its head. The long-running audience favorite, starring Wilder as the infamous Dr. Frankenstein’s grandson, is unrelenting in its jokes and sight gags, and co-stars Cloris Leachman, Terr Garr, Madeline Kahn, and Peter Boyle as the monster.

Wilder also wrote, directed, and starred in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, released in 1975, and The World’s Greatest Lover, released in 1977. While Young Frankenstein was a smash hit with a massive cult following, the others received mixed reviews and were commercially unsuccessful.

Films With Richard Pryor

Nonetheless, Wilder was able to continue his film career for the next decade. He appeared alongside Richard Pryor in four films: Silver Streak (1976), Stir Crazy (1980), See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989), and Another You (1990). (1991). Stir Crazy, in which Wilder and Pryor portrayed prison inmates, was a box office success, and, like Blazing Saddles before it, it helped to cement Wilder’s reputation as a screen legend.

Wilder received praise for his performance in another western comedy, The Frisco Kid, in 1979. In the movie, he plays a Polish rabbi who travels west and meets a bank robber played by Harrison Ford. The Woman in Red (1984) and Haunted Honeymoon (1985) are two other films from this era (1986).

Relationship With Gilda Radner

Wilder co-starred in the Sidney Poitier-directed Hanky Panky with Radner, a comedienne best known for her role as an original cast member on Saturday Night Live. Despite the fact that both were married at the time, they began dating on set and sought divorces so that they could marry in 1984. The two were deeply in love, though Wilder later admitted to being frustrated by her neediness. Radner was diagnosed with ovarian cancer while trying to conceive and died in 1989. Wilder established Gilda’s Club, a cancer support group, in her honor.


Wilder was involved in a string of flopped movies and quickly canceled television shows during the 1990s. Wilder, on the other hand, starred in and co-wrote A+E Television’s Murder in a Small Town in 1999. The TV movie, set in 1938, tells the story of “Cash” Carter (Wilder), a successful Broadway director who moves to Connecticut to run a theater company. There, he joins forces with a police officer friend to solve the murder of a wealthy businessman. Murder in a Small Town debuted as the second-highest rated A&E Original Movie. Wilder announced the same year that he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, from which he recovered with the help of chemotherapy and stem cell transplants. Wilder effectively retired from show business at the end of the 1990s. Despite appearing as a guest star on Will and Grace in 2002 and 2003, he quickly abandoned show business: “I like show, but I don’t like the business.” Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art, his memoir, was published in 2005.

Life as a Writer

Since 2007, Wilder has continued to write and publish two novels and a collection of short stories. “I’m not a natural writer like, say, Woody Allen. I’m not talking about Arthur Miller here, that’s another story. But the more I’ve written, the more I’ve discovered that there is a deep well somewhere in me that wants to express things that I won’t find unless I write them myself “Wilder stated in a 1999 interview with the New York Times.

Personal Life and Death

Wilder had four marriages. From 1960 to 1965, he was married to Mary Mercier for five years. In 1967, he married Mary Joan Schutz and adopted her daughter, Katharine, from whom he later became estranged after he and Schutz divorced. Wilder married SNL alum Radner in 1984 and they were married until Radner died in 1989. In 1991, Wilder married Karen Webb.

Wilder died on August 28, 2016, in Stamford, Connecticut, of Alzheimer’s disease complications. He was 83.

Further Reading

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