Gene Wilder: Another normal actor (1971)

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Willy Wonka Gene Wilder - Candy room

Gene Wilder: Another normal actor

Actor Gene Wilder, 36, has startling green eyes and a thatch of red hair, and — he says — peace of mind. But does he?

Right now, he’s starring as the candymaker in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” But Gene well remembers being sent to military school in Hollywood, where he was “the only Jew in school, and was either beaten up or insulted every day.”

>> Also see: Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory for all (1971)

He also says of his childhood: “I grew up constantly repressed because my mother was ill, and I was never allowed to scream or vent my anger openly. While hostility boiled inside me, I had to put on a normal, complacent front until I was a conflict of emotions.”

After seven years of analysis, Wilder says he is happy with both his career and his new wife, Mary Joe, whom he married in 1967. (His first marriage ended in divorce.)

Now he is looking for “some corner of this world where love prevails and where the world can’t catch up with me for 45 years — when I expect to be dead.”

Willy Wonka Gene Wilder - Candy room

More with Gene Wilder:

>> ‘Blazing Saddles’ is typical Mel Brooks (1974)

>> Young Frankenstein: A falling down funny film (1975)

>> While hardly a classic, ‘Willy Wonka’ will do (1971)

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