What Iconic Movie Star Was An Iowa Hawkeye?
Come with me, and you'll be in a world of pure imagination...
Or in Gene Wilder's real-life situation, you may just be in the Midwest.
I was scrolling through Facebook when I came across this interesting post from an Iowa university. It turns out that one of the most iconic actors of the 20th century called the Hawkeye State home for a few years.
It turns out that Gene Wilder, WILLY WONKA HIMSELF, actually went to college here. The actor is most notably known for his roles in the crazed chocolatier in Willy Wonka, Young Frankenstein, and The Blazing Saddles.
The acclaimed actor attended the University of Iowa in the 1950s and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in 1955, according to university officials. When he was attending school he went by his real/birth name, Jerome Silberman.
He studied Communication and Theatre Arts, and he apparently was a frat boy! He was a member of the fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi.
In 2003, he was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award for achievement from his alma mater. It turns out that during his life, he continued to give back to the University of Iowa. Two years before he received this honor, he and his brother-in-law donated an assortment of scripts, film memorabilia, and photographs to Special Collections at the UI Libraries. This generous donation actually included a draft of Young Frankenstein.
He was married to four different women during his life, one of his most notable marriages was with comedian Gilda Radner. The actor passed away just a few years ago in August of 2016 due to complications from Alzheimer's disease. Wilder had one daughter, Katherine Wilder who was adopted in 1967.