As one of the most beloved comedic actors of all time, Gene Wilder was a master of dry wit and fun physical comedy. From his iconic roles in Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory to Blazing SaddlesWilder brought an incredibly impressive energy to every character he played.
Although many years have passed since Gene Wilder’s passing, his work continues to be a source of joy, laughter and inspiration. Another thing I loved about Wilder and his performances, he could effortlessly go from drama to comedy. His performances have always been unique and they are unforgettable. Here is a list of some of Wilder’s best performances!
Young Frankenstein (1974) – Young Frankenstein is widely considered one of the greatest comedies ever made, and it’s no surprise why. Not only did Wilder write the script, but his performance as the title character is nothing short of brilliant. He brings the perfect blend of comedy and horror to the role, creating an unforgettable character. In the film, he plays a serious scientist determined to prove that his grandfather’s resuscitation theories are correct! His tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and impeccable comedic timing make this performance both hilarious and endearing.
Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory (1971) – Who could forget Gene Wilder’s star turn as Willy Wonka? This is probably Wilder’s best-known role. As an eccentric chocolatier who guides five children on a magical and gruesome tour through his factory, Wilder brings every scene he finds himself in to life with his hilarious deadpan delivery and infectious enthusiasm. He brought a wonderful childlike spirit to the role, which is what I liked the most about the character. A truly legendary performance!
Blazing Saddles (1974) – Here’s yet another incredible collaboration between Brooks and Wilder that resulted in this hilarious Western parody that follows Sheriff Bart (little cleavon), a black lawman tasked with keeping the peace in Rock Ridge, a border town plagued by political corruption. Here, Wilder plays Jim, aka “The Waco Kid,” a gunslinger who helps Bart when all hope seems lost. The chemistry between these two actors was undeniable; they had an obvious relationship which fueled some of the funniest scenes in the film! This is one of Wilder’s funniest performances!
The producers (1968) – The producers is another classic Mel Brooks comedy that Wilder starred in. This time around, he plays Leo Bloom, an accountant who teams up with Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) for a wild scheme to make money on Broadway by producing a flop musical. His performance here is full of charm and charisma, and it suits the story’s goofy antics perfectly. It’s one of Wilder’s earliest roles, but you can already see the wit and charm that characterizes his career.
stir crazy (1980) – This cult classic stars Wilder and Richard Prior as two friends who are wrongfully sent to prison for a crime they didn’t commit – and then must find a way to escape. From their misadventures behind bars to their goofy attempt at freedom on the outside, this film is filled with hilarious moments from start to finish thanks in large part to Wilder’s great performance as Skip Donahue, which makes up half of the movie. an unforgettable comic duo!
Whether you like slapstick or quick wit, there’s something for everyone in Gene Wilder’s vast filmography. His unique blend of humor will live on forever through his unforgettable performances listed above and several other projects! So put on your favorite Gene Wilder movie tonight and relive classic comedy gold.