Gene Wilder quotes

Gene Wilder Quotes That Resonate On And Off The Screen


Best known for his iconic role in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Gene Wilder was an actor, comedian, author, and singer/songwriter who made great contributions to American pop culture. Wilder died at the age of 83 in 2016, but his legacy has a lasting impression both on and off the big screen. As we look back on the most memorable Gene Wilder quotes, we draw inspiration from how much he loved life and sought to make others happy and entertained.

Gene Wilder was born Jerome Silberman to a family of Russian Jewish immigrants. He first became interested in acting after watching his sister perform on stage, and he began seriously pursuing an acting career at the age of 13. Throughout his early life and career, Wilder studied acting with several different instructors while also serving in the Army. At one point, he was forced to support himself with odd jobs including driving limousines and teaching fencing. But by the 1960s, Wilder’s dream career started to take shape.

Gene Wilder quotes

Besides his memorable portrayal of Willy Wonka, Wilder also appeared in Bonnie and Clyde, The Producers, Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein. Off the screen, Wilder enjoyed painting watercolors, writing, and supporting charitable organizations. He was also married four times, but never had children of his own.

Wilder’s long and active life ended on August 29, 2016 after battling Alzheimer’s disease for three years. According to his family, the beloved actor died while listening to his favorite song, “Over the Rainbow.” Today, countless fans still watch his movies, and we’ll likely reflect on Gene Wilder quotes for years to come.

Here are 20 Gene Wilder quotes the world will never forget.

1. “If you’re not going to tell the truth, then why start talking?”
2. “On stage or in the movies I could do whatever I wanted to. I was free.”
3. “Pride is not the worst of sins. In fact, it’s one of the most interesting ones.”
4. “I’m going to tell you what my religion is. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Period. Terminato. Finito.”
5. “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.”
6. “What I learned from Mel Brooks was audacity, in performance as in life. Maybe you go too far, but try it.”
7. “If my mother hadn’t laughed at the funny things I did, I probably wouldn’t be a comic actor. After she had her first heart attack, the doctor said, ‘Try to make her laugh.’ And that was the first time I tried to make anyone laugh.”
8. “I was a milksop as a kid, I had no confidence, no guts. I felt I was going to be someone else someday, someone who didn’t have my weaknesses.”
9. “I trust if your life is right, the right things will happen at the right time. If the chords are in harmony inside, I think other things will happen the same way.”
10. “When your mother gives you confidence about anything that you do, you carry that confidence with you.”
11. “I never used to believe in fate. I used to think you make your own life, and then you call it fate.”
12. “When I’m not working on something, I seem to go through periods of depression. It helps to keep busy.”
13. “Success is a terrible thing and a wonderful thing. If you can enjoy it, it’s wonderful. If it starts eating away at you, and they’re waiting for more from me, or what can I do to top this, then you’re in trouble. Just do what you love. That’s all I want to do.”
14. “Time is a precious thing. Never waste it.”
15. “Great art direction is not the same thing as great film direction.”
16. “If the physical thing you’re doing is funny, you don’t have to act funny while doing it…just be real and it will be funnier.”
17. “I like, it’s not that I want to be someone different from me, but I suppose it partly is that. I love creating a character in a fantastical situation, like Dr. Frankenstein, like Leo Bloom, a little caterpillar who blossoms into a butterfly. I love that.”

18. “But the acting process, create a human being, was real, not only to the audience, but real to me.”
19. “What I didn’t know was that I don’t need to act. I might want to act, just for the love of acting, but not because I need to earn the right to feel loved by God. I’ve got something much better…I feel loved by the person I love.”
20. “I’ve had a very good life and a very good career. I have no regrets.”

Wilder lived a long life that influenced people both while watching him work and by simply knowing him in real life. If you’re a fan of this memorable man, don’t forget to share these Gene Wilder quotes with your friends and family.

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