Comedic icon Gene Wilder has died at age 83. His family confirmed the news to the Associated Press on Monday afternoon.
The legendary actor, famous for originating the role of Willy Wonka and for his work with other industry idols like Richard Pryor and Mel Brooks, passed away at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, from complications with Alzheimer’s disease, according to his nephew. Over the course of his illustrious career, Wilder took part in many comedic gems, like The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Stir Crazy, and many more. These successes certainly contributed to his net worth, but just what does that amount add up to? How much money did Gene Wilder make?
Read on to find out about Wilder’s net worth.
1. He Had a Reported Net Worth of $20 Million
Gene Wilder accrued his hefty net worth working as an actor, director, screen writer, and author. He starred in several iconic films, including The Producers, Willy Wonka & Chocolate Factory, and Young Frankenstein, and was twice nominated for an Oscar.
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1933, Wilder (whose real name is Jerome Silberman) was the son of a Russian Jewish immigrant, William J. Silberman, and Jeanne (Baer) Silberman. He became interested in the arts at a young age, after watching his sister study acting. When he was 13, he began training with his sister’s former acting coach, and at 15, he made his first appearance onstage, paying Balthasar in a local theater’s production of Romeo and Juliet.
2. He Appeared in Many Mel Brooks Films
Wilder is widely recognized as one of Mel Brooks’ favorite actors to cast.
After changing his professional name to Gene Wilder at age 26, (he was born Jerome Silberman), he took part in a production of Mother Courage and Her Children. While working on the play, he met Anne Bancroft, who introduced him to her boyfriend at the time, Mel Brooks. According to Celebrity Net Worth, “Wilder and Brooks became fast friends…” Brooks went on to cast Gene in The Producers, which earned him the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
After his impressive performance, Wilder became a hot commodity in Hollywood, and was subsequently cast as Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
In a statement acquired by Fox news, Brooks wrote, “Gene Wilder, one of the truly great talents of our time, is gone. He blessed every film we did together with his special magic and he blessed my life with his friendship. He will be so missed.”
Steve Martin also took to Twitter, with a comment that read, “Goodbye, Gene Wilder. You were one of the great screen comedians. Original and surprising every time.”
3. He Wrote Multiple Books
In 1998, Wilder collaborated with oncologist Steven Piver on a book called Gilda’s Disease, which chronicled the difficulties of living with ex-wife, Gilda Radne, while she had cancer. The following year, Wilder revealed that he had been hospitalized, himself, with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In 2005, Wilder announced that he was in complete remission after chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.
On March 1, 2005, the actor released his personal memoir, Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art, and in 2007, he published his next book, My French Whore, set during WWI.
4. One of His Former Homes Sold for $6.75 Million
In 2013, Elon Musk– a business mogul, investor, engineer, and inventor who heads Tesla Motors– forked out $6.75 for Gene Wilder’s former estate in Bel-Air.
The home, which you can see photos of here, sits on three-acres and overlooks the 13th green and 14th fairway of the Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles. It is a 2,800 square-foot ranch-style home with 3-bedrooms and a pool.
5. He Was Nominated for an Academy Award Twice
Wilder’s first major role as Leopold Bloom in The Producers earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
His second Oscar nod– this time for Best Adapted Screenplay– came for his work co-writing Young Frankenstein with Mel Brooks.