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Gilda Radner

Gilda Radner

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Also Known As: Died: May 20, 1989
Born: June 28, 1946 Cause of Death: ovarian cancer
Birth Place: Detroit, Michigan, USA Profession: actor, comedian, comedy writer, author

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This gawky, gifted comedy star with kinky curled hair and a flair for outlandish characterizations was born into a wealthy Detroit family. Radner took off early and found success as a comic in Canada, then on TV's "Saturday Night Live" as its premiere female star. With such characters as Roseanne Roseannadanna, Emily Litella and Baba Wawa, she became America's Sweetheart in the late 1970s.Radner's post-SNL career was disappointing, beginning with the 1980 feature "First Family" and her one-woman Broadway show, "Gilda Live" (1979). None of her films were particularly successful, though she shone in all of them as a delightful character actress: "Hanky Panky" (1982), "The Woman in Red" (1984) and "Haunted Honeymoon" (her last, 1986).Radner met actor Gene Wilder while filming "Hanky Panky" and they married in France on September 18, 1984. Her career was cut short by a long, painful and bravely waged battle with ovarian cancer, which she chronicled in her posthumously-published autobiography, "It's Always Something". Her last appearance was on the HBO TV comedy "It's Garry Shandling's Show" in 1988, playing herself. She was survived by her husband, who started the cancer support group Gilda's Friends...

This gawky, gifted comedy star with kinky curled hair and a flair for outlandish characterizations was born into a wealthy Detroit family. Radner took off early and found success as a comic in Canada, then on TV's "Saturday Night Live" as its premiere female star. With such characters as Roseanne Roseannadanna, Emily Litella and Baba Wawa, she became America's Sweetheart in the late 1970s.

Radner's post-SNL career was disappointing, beginning with the 1980 feature "First Family" and her one-woman Broadway show, "Gilda Live" (1979). None of her films were particularly successful, though she shone in all of them as a delightful character actress: "Hanky Panky" (1982), "The Woman in Red" (1984) and "Haunted Honeymoon" (her last, 1986).

Radner met actor Gene Wilder while filming "Hanky Panky" and they married in France on September 18, 1984. Her career was cut short by a long, painful and bravely waged battle with ovarian cancer, which she chronicled in her posthumously-published autobiography, "It's Always Something". Her last appearance was on the HBO TV comedy "It's Garry Shandling's Show" in 1988, playing herself. She was survived by her husband, who started the cancer support group Gilda's Friends (subsequently renamed Gilda's Club").

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Haunted Honeymoon (1986) Vickie Pearle
3.
 Movers And Shakers (1985) Livia Machado
4.
 Woman In Red, The (1984) Ms Milner
5.
 Hanky-Panky (1982) Kate Hellman
7.
 Animalympics (1980) Voice
8.
 First Family (1980) Gloria Link
9.
 Gilda Live (1980) Herself
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1972:
Stage debut, "Godspell" in Toronto, Canada
1973:
Joined Toronto's Second City comedy group
:
Appeared on numerous CBC TV productions in Canada including original rock opera, "Jack"
1973:
First film appearance in bit part in "The Last Detail"
1974:
Went to New York; wrote for and performed on on radio in "The National Lampoon Radio Hour"
1975:
Off-Broadway debut, "National Lampoon Show"
1975:
Television acting debut as regular on "Saturday Night Live"
1979:
Broadway acting debut in "Gilda Radner--Live From New York" (also co-writer)
1979:
Film acting debut in "Mr. Mike's Mondo Video"
1980:
Wrote and starred in the concert film, "Gilda Live"
1986:
Last feature film, "Haunted Honeymoon"
2003:
On June 27th, Radner received a STAR on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Michigan: Ann Arbor , Michigan -

Notes

Gene Wilder also helped establish the Gilda Radner Ovarian Detection Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles (c. 1990)

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
G E Smith. Guitarist. Married April, 1980, divorced 1982; conductor and lead guitarist with "Saturday Night Live" band from 1986-1995.
husband:
Gene Wilder. Actor; director. Married September 18, 1984 until Radner's death.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Herman Radner. Hotel proprietor. Died when Gilda was aged 14.
mother:
Henrietta Radner. Born 1905.
brother:
Michael Radner. Investor. Older; born c. 1941.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Roseanne Roseannadanna's Hey, Get Back to Work Book"
"It's Always Something" Simon & Schuster

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