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Few American film actors are as immediately identifiable as Gene Wilder. He brought his wild hair, expressive face, and impeccable comic timing to a series of classic movies in the 1960s and 70s. He starred in The Producers, Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles with Mel Brooks - the bizarre children's fantasy Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - and a series of action comedies with comedian Richard Pryor.
He was also famously married to another manic comedian - the late Gilda Radner. Years after she died of cancer - he had his own bout with non-hodgkins lymphoma...he wrote about the illness, and their life together in a highly personal memoir called "Kiss me like a stranger."
Wilder is now nearly 75 - in remission from cancer - and he's shifted his focus to writing. His first two novels were released in just the last year. For many years, he'd lived in Stamford, Connecticut - and this month, he received the 2008 Governor's Award for Excellence in Culture and Tourism. We spoke to him by phone. I asked him about the movie that got him an Oscar nomination back in 1968 - The Producers, with Zero Mostel. 30 years later - it became the biggest hit on broadway.
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