Many fans wondered why Wilder never returned to the screen, and as it turns out, he finally explained it in a 2013 interview. Wilder was interviewed by “Time Out New York,” and they asked point blank if he would ever consider acting again if the project was something he liked.
Wilder, apparently didn’t like any of the offers he was getting, despite getting dozens of them. In his words, “I get 52 scripts a year, and I don’t like any of them”. He continued to say, “I’m tired of watching the bombing, shooting, killing, swearing, and 3D.” We can’t say we don’t agree.
Wilder Is a Published Author of Four Novels
Wilder was no stranger to writing, having penned several of his films and other projects. But writing became a full-time passion of his in his later years, and he wrote four acclaimed novels. His first one, “My French W@o&e,” was published in 2007 and was a hilarious spy romance that took place in 1918.
His second novel, “The Woman Who Wouldn’t,” was published a year later, in 2008. Wilder’s third novel was released in 2013, and it was a heartwarming tribute to loved ones called “Something to Remember You By: A Perilous Romance.” His last work was published in 2017, a lovely tale called “Even Dogs Learn How to Swim.”
He Truly Hated Showbusiness
No one can enter show business without passion for their craft. You have to be incredibly devoted to your form of art in order to wade through the big executives and the money they're trying to make. In an interview in 2008, as part of a special segment of Turner Classic Movies, Gene Wilder was interviewed by actor Alec Baldwin. When he was asked about his illustrious career, Wilder admitted that he never liked showbusiness.
“I like show, but I don’t like the business,” said Wilder during the interview. He went on to say that as the years passed, he realized production studios weren’t interested in creative input or quality content. Maybe he was onto something.
“Trading Places” Was Meant for Wilder and Pryor
Who can forget the hilarious hit comedy film from 1983, “Trading Places”? This commercial and critical success, directed by John Landis, starred none other than Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. And honestly, it’s hard to imagine anybody else playing this duo.
However, it was Wilder and Richard Pryor who were meant to play the lead roles in the movie. At the last minute, they had to drop out because Pryor was dealing with a severe substance abuse problem. Wilder was a great friend to Pryor during these hard times, even losing an important role to stay by him and help.
He Grew Estranged From His Only Daughter
After Wilder adopted his second wife’s daughter, Katherine, the two became very close. But sadly, after he divorced her mother, he grew apart from Katherine, and she revealed how much the situation had affected her in a personal memoir she released 15 years after the couple had divorced.
It described how they had grown apart after Katherine’s mother suspected Wilder of having an affair while they were married. The supposed "other woman" was Madeline Kahn, who co-starred alongside Wilder in "Young Frankenstein" In an interview with Larry King, Gene Wilder said the story of his daughter was “too sad to tell.”