It's 1941, and Wilder is an 8-year-old named Jerry Silberman, living in Milwaukee. A doctor has come by to check on his mother, who has recently had a heart attack and is just home from the hospital. After an examination, the doctor spots Jerry, grabs him by the arm, leans in and whispers, "Don't ever argue with your mother -- you might kill her."
The doctor is fat and his face is sweating. "Try to make her laugh," he adds. Then he's out the door.
For years, Wilder labored under the impression that a few sharp words could mortally wound his mom, and that some well-timed jokes might actually extend her life. Sound heavy? It gets heavier in "Kiss Me Like a Stranger," Wilder's new autobiography, a book as frank and raw as a session with a shrink, filled with blunt musings about sex, acting and the search for love and happiness.
Monday, March 28, 2005
Don't ever argue with your mother--you might kill her
From Gene Wilder: It Hurts to Laugh, a Washington post article on Gene Wilder's new autobiography, Kiss Me Like a Stranger: