Today, the acting world lost a legend in the form of Gene Wilder. Known for “Blazing Saddles,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” and many other films, passed away after a private battle with Alzheimer’s. He was 83 years old.
For the most part, Wilder’s notable work came in movies; we do not wish to diminish those achievements, but being that our primary work here is as a TV site, we wanted to illuminate here something that may not be remembered or seen by many: His last live-action credit, which he did as a part of the iconic sitcom “Will & Grace” back in 2002 and 2003. His character Mr. Stein (a senior partner at Will’s firm) only made brief appearances, but you can see in the short video below that he was every bit as funny and charming as you would have remembered him. This role was enough to earn him a Primetime Emmy Award for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.
Following this role, the only credit that is listed online is a voice one for a “Yo Gabba Gabba!” movie. Prior to “Will & Grace,” he had done some TV movies in the late nineties as well as the TV series “Something Wilder.” He was one of those stars who accomplished great things, and ultimately then was more than happy and content to go on to live a life doing some other things.
The best thing that we can probably say about Wilder is that there are so many wonderful things to say, from great quotes to tributes from various people who knew and loved him. There were very few performers who projected the sort of joy that he did.
Our thoughts are with his family, his loved ones, and his fans during this difficult time. Below, you can see a tribute from his frequent collaborator Mel Brooks, a genius in his own right. (Photo: NBC.)