Jerome Silberman was born on 11th June 1933, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA, of Russian Jewish descent. As Gene Wilder, he was as an actor, a screenwriter, and an author, especially known for his roles in “The Producers” and “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)”. Some people remember him also for his role as Willy Wonka in the film “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, released in 1971. He passed away in August 2016.
So just how rich was Gene Wilder? Sources estimate his net worth was $20 million, most of his money having been made in the movie industry, as an actor, a screenwriter, a director and a producer; but also as a stage actor and an author, during a career in the entertainment industry spanning more than 50 years.
Gene Wilder Net Worth $20 Million
Gene Wilder graduated from the University of Iowa, where he studied Communication and Theater Arts. He started his acting career on the stage, and made his Broadway debut in 1961 in the play “The Complaisant Lover”. His Broadway career included roles in numerous plays, including “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, “The White House”, “Mother Courage and Her Children” and “Luv”. Gene Wilder came back to the stage in 1996, in London, where he played in “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” – all contributed to his net worth.
His first role in a movie came in 1967 in “Bonnie and Clyde”, but he really became known in the industry after “The Producers”, a film in which he played the role of Leo Bloom and for which he received an Academy Award nomination. An important moment in Gene Wilder’s career was his role in Woody Allen’s 1972 film “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)”, which was a hit and grossed $18 million, the equivalent of more than $100 million in 2016. Then there were his performances, unforgetable to audiences, in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Blazing Saddles”, and “Young Frankenstein” which made him famous and a real comic actor icon. Some of his other movies with high commercial success were “Silver Streak” and “Stir Crazy”. During this period he also wrote and directed movies, such as “The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother” and “The World’s Greatest Lover”. Overall, he appeared in more than 30 films and television series, and wrote nine screenplays.
Gene Wilder semi-retired around the late ’90s, but he continued making television appearances in several shows, including “E! True Hollywood Story”, “The Frank Skinner Show”, and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”. Throughout his acting career, critics often described him as ‘amusingly watchable’, and audiences were seldom disappointed.
Wilder turned his attention to writing, which added money to his net worth as an author, as he published a memoir, three novels and several short stories.
In his personal life, Gene Wilder married four times. His first three marriages were to Mary Mercier(1960-65), to Mary Joan Schutz(1967-74), and to Gilda Radner from 1984 until her death from ovarian cancer in 1989. Gene Wilder suffered after his Gina’s death and began speaking about cancer awareness. The actor married for the fourth time in 1991, to Karen Boyer, and they were together until his death from Alzheimer’s and complications on 29 August 2016.
Upon his death, he was cremated and his ashes given to his family.
Gene Wilder guest-starred on the Will & Grace (1998) episode "Boardroom and a Parked Place" (2002) as Will's new boss, Mr. Stein. As Will is trying to boost Mr. Stein's confidence, he has Stein shout, "I am Stein! I am Stein!." In an outtake from the episode, Will stands up and shouts, "You're Frankenstein!".
Pursued a career in comedic acting to cheer up his mother when she was suffering from heart disease.
He was set to reunite with Richard Pryor in Trading Places (1983) until Pryor dropped out. When Eddie Murphy was cast, he requested that Wilder be replaced, as he did not want to come-off as a poor substitute for Pryor.
In October 2001, he read from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" as part of a special benefit performance held at the Westport Country Playhouse to support families affected by the September 11 attacks. Also in 2001, Wilder donated a collection of scripts, correspondences, documents, photographs, and clipped images to the University of Iowa Libraries.
Died on August 29, 2016 from complications of Alzheimer's Disease. His nephew said in a statement, "We understand for all the emotional and physical challenges this situation presented we have been among the lucky ones - this illness-pirate, unlike in so many cases, never stole his ability to recognize those that were closest to him, nor took command of his central-gentle-life affirming core personality. The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn't vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him "there's Willy Wonka," would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion. He simply couldn't bear the idea of one less smile in the world." (Statement Via Variety).
Mel Brooks offered him the role of Ippolit in The Twelve Chairs (1970). But Wilder wanted to play the role of Ostap instead. Brooks refused to cast Wilder because Ostap is described in the novel as "devilishly handsome". Wilder said that he was not offended by this, but still decided not to do the film. The roles went to Ron Moody and Frank Langella.
Mel Brooks wanted him to star in High Anxiety (1977), which he turned down due to scheduling conflicts. Brooks took the role himself.
Wilder was a supporter of the Democratic Party for many years, and staunchly opposed U.S. actions in the Vietnam War and the Iraq War. He supported Eugene McCarthy in the 1968 presidential election.
In 1991, the Best Man at his wedding was his nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman. Twenty-four years later, Wilder served as Best Man Emeritus, Ring Bearer, and Parent of the Groom at Walker-Pearlman's wedding to Elizabeth Hunter. He was recorded dancing down the aisle.
For an American Film Institute poll, Wilder designated The Circus (1928) as his favourite film.
His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant. His mother was born in Illinois, to Russian Jewish parents. Gene had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony.
According to his memoir "Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art", he consider his nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman, whom he helped raise, his son.
According to his memoir "Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art", his cancer was in complete remission.
His performance as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein ("that's FRONKensteen") in Young Frankenstein (1974) is ranked #9 on Premiere magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
He claimed that before Mel Brooks recruited him, he regarded himself as more of a dramatic actor than a comedic actor.
While serving in the United States Army, he was assigned as a Medic to the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at Valley Forge General Hospital in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. He worked in treating psychiatric patients.
When he chose his stage name, he chose "Wilder" because he loved Thornton Wilder's play "Our Town". He chose the name "Gene" simply because he liked this, not realizing until later this was because his mother's name was Jeanne (she was sick for most of his childhood, and he spent much of his time entertaining her as a kid to keep her happy and her spirits up. He subconsciously chose the name because he loved her so much and in honour of her).
Treated his cancer with an adult stem-cell treatment. Made a full recovery from cancer. 
He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and underwent chemotherapy. 
Served with the United States Army from 1956-1958. Served in the Medical Corps section in the United States Army.
Often played highly eccentric yet likeable characters
Curly brown hair and blue eyes
Soft mellow voice
I'm quietly political. I don't like advertising. Giving money to someone or support, but not getting on a bandstand. I don't want to run for president in 2008. I will write another book instead.
I'm going to tell you what my religion is: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Period. Terminato. Finito. I have no other religion. I feel very Jewish and I feel very grateful to be Jewish. But I don't believe in God or anything to do with the Jewish religion.
Lots of things are hard work, but I think writing, for me, after I started acting at 13 years old. I like writing now much more than I do acting only because, well, partly because the scripts that are offered are junk.
My basic mistake in The World's Greatest Lover (1977) was that I made the leading character a neurotic kook and sent him to Hollywood. I should have made him a perfectly normal, sane, ordinary person, and sent him to Hollywood. The audience identifies with the lead character.
I love the art of acting, and I love film, because you always have anther chance if you want it. You know, if we - if this isn't going well, you can't say - well, you could say - let's stop. Let's start over again, Gene, because you were too nervous.
I'm not so funny. Gilda was funny. I'm funny on camera sometimes. In life, once in a while. Once in a while. But she was funny. She spent more time worrying about being liked than anything else.
I wanted to do - there was this film called Magic (1978) that Anthony Hopkins did. And the director wanted me. The writer wanted me. Joe Levine said no, I don't want any comedians in this.
I don't mean to sound - I don't want it to come out funny, but I don't like show business. I love - I love acting in films. I love it.
I write funny. If I can make my wife laugh, I know I'm on the right track. But yes, I don't like to get Maudlin. And I have a tendency towards it.
Actors fall into this trap if they missed being loved for who they really were and not for what they could do - sing, dance, joke about - then they take that as love.
I'm funny on camera sometimes. In life, once in a while. Once in a while.
A lot of comic actors derive their main force from childish behavior. Most great comics are doing such silly things; you'd say, "That's what a child would do.".
Great art direction is NOT the same thing as great film direction!
My mother was suffering every day of her life, and what right did I have to be happy if she was suffering? So whenever I got happy about something, I felt the need to cut it off, and the only way to cut it off was to pray. "Forgive me Lord." For what, I didn't know.
So my idea of neurotic is spending too much time trying to correct a wrong. When I feel that I'm doing that, then I snap out of it.
I like writing books. I'd rather be at home with my wife. I can write, take a break, come out, have a glass of tea, give my wife a kiss, and go back in and write some more. It's not so bad. I am really lucky.
I never thought of it as God. I didn't know what to call it. I don't believe in devils, but demons I do because everyone at one time or another has some kind of a demon, even if you call it by another name, that drives them.
[on Zero Mostel] You may have heard stories about how bombastic, aggressive, and dictatorial Zero might be. It didn't happen with me. He always took care of me. I loved him. He looked after me as if I were a baby sparrow.
[on Mel Brooks] There's not much white sugar in Mel's veins. He would never ask an audience for sympathy.
[on why he doesn't make movies anymore] I like writing books. I'd rather be at home with my wife. I can write, take a break, come out, have a glass of tea, give my wife a kiss, and go back in and write some more. It's not so bad. I am really lucky.
[on his longtime comedic partnership with Richard Pryor] Silver Streak (1976) was very good, we got along really swell. But when we did Stir Crazy (1980), he would come in 15 minutes late, 30 minutes late, 45 minutes late, an hour late. [Director] Sidney Poitier was going nuts.
[on Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)] Well, you know, it wasn't a success when it came out. And I heard some talk about mothers who thought it was cruel to the children. What... what they and everyone else found out later on was that maybe some mothers felt that way, but the children didn't feel that way. The children understood the movie very well. That there are limits. And they want to know the limits. And it's reassuring to know that someone can tell you what the limits are, and that's what Willy Wonka did.
[on being asked to play Willy Wonka] I said, "I'd like to come out with a cane, and be crippled," and I said, "because no one will know from that time on whether I'm lying or telling the truth." And he said, "You mean--if we don't do that, you won't do the part?" And I said, "Yeah, that's what I'm saying." [imitates the producer mumbling to himself] "Okay. Okay. We'll do it." And I, and I meant it, too. Because it was a tricky part. But that element, of "who knows? is he lying, or is he telling the truth?" is what my main motor was. And I liked that; it appealed to me a lot.
[on his relationship with Richard Pryor] We were never good friends, contrary to popular belief. We turned it on for the camera, then turned it off. He was a pretty unpleasant person to be around during the time we worked together. He was going through his drug problems then and didn't want a friendship outside of what we did on the screen.
[on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), the remake of his Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)] I haven't seen it. I like Depp [Johnny Depp], but when I heard they were doing a remake, I heard, "Mistake". When I saw clips on television, and I saw what Depp was doing, I thought, "Don't see that movie--you like Depp too much." I always get comments: "Yours is better". I know they're talking about "Willie Wonka".
[on Mel Brooks] We are not interested in polite titters, we want the audience rolling on the floor and falling about. Mel works on his feet -- it's a hit and miss, hit and miss, hit and miss. Then in the editing he will take out the misses!
I'm not so funny. Gilda [Gilda Radner] was funny. I'm funny on camera sometimes. In life, once in a while. Once in a while. But she was funny. She spent more time worrying about being liked than anything else.