When news of Gene Wilder’s death broke yesterday, stars lined up to share tributes and remembrances of the iconic character actor, who made his name in classics like “The Producers, “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory,” and “Blazing Saddles.”
Cloris Leachman, who played the fiendish Frau Blücher in 1974’s “Young Frankenstein,” tells Deadline, “Gene was in a class by himself. I looked up to him, yet on the set he was just one of us.”
I remember when we were shooting Young Frankenstein there was a scene where I had to get the group up the stairs immediately. I had to say, ‘Shtay close to zee candles’ and turn toward him. As I turned around I could see his face was in two pieces. We had to do our scene 14 times over because he’d be laughing so hard. Alas, alas. So dear Gene, I vill say, ‘Goodnight.’”
The exact moment she’s talking about is actually captured below in a hugely entertaining collection of Young Frankenstein bloopers, all of which feature Wilder. (It’s the first scene.) These have been making the rounds since yesterday, and you’d be hard pressed to find footage of actors having a better time than this:
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