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Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art

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Home » Books » Biography » Entertainment & Performing Arts

Kiss Me Like a Stranger

My Search for Love and Art

By Gene Wilder

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Format: Paperback, 272 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 05 June 2006
Gene Wilder defined film comedy in the 1970s and '80s. But this is no traditional autobiography, rather it's an intelligent, quirky, humorous account of key events that have affected him in search for love and art.In this very personal, fascinating book, Wilder gives a great insight into the creative process on stage and screen. He discusses his experiences of working with the very best of movie talent, including Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Sidney Poitier and Richard Pryor, and tells how he developed his own unique style from his early days at The Actors' Studio with Lee Strasberg.Amongst other incidents, he describes his time in the UK, which he has great fondness for, studying at the Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol. During this period he came top of his class at fencing and doorstepped Sir John Geilgud to ask him to explain the use of iambic pentametre.Wilder also talks amusingly about his failed love life off-screen (including 4 marriages) and is candid about much darker times such as the death of his third wife, comedienne Gilda Radner, from cancer. He also reveals his own recent battle with the disease, which he's now come through, and which changed his perspective on life.This isn't a traditional celebrity 'tell all' but an insight into the life and mind of a great comic actor who has a rare ability to write as well as he performs.

Promotional Information

/ Lead title Gene Wilder defined film comedy in the 1970s and '80s. But this is no traditional autobiography, rather it's an intelligent, quirky, humorous account of key events that have affected him in search for love and art. / A fascinating compilation of stories, anecdotes and observations covering Wilder's life until now, in his own words / Wilder will visit the UK in June to promote the book -- to include Q & A sessions and book signing events / National press, radio and TV interviews guaranteed

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EAN: 9780007208050
ISBN: 0007208057
Publisher: HarperCollins Entertainment
Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 1.8 centimetres (0.18 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years

About the Author

Gene Wilder

Reviews

The man who created some of the funniest moments in film history talks about acting, adultery, neuroses and death in this intimate, unusual memoir. Wilder began acting as a teenager at summer camp and eventually earned some acclaim on Broadway but not much money-he says he was still collecting unemployment checks when he began shooting his breakout film role in Mel Brooks's original film version of The Producers (1968). The movie flopped commercially, but Wilder's comedic chops were established. A string of successes followed: Blazing Saddles; Young Frankenstein; Willy Wonka; Stir Crazy. Off camera, things were more complicated. After two troubled marriages, Wilder married Saturday Night Live's Gilda Radner-a brilliant, erratic woman who battled bulimia and wild mood swings. Wilder is unusually frank in documenting both Radner's faults and her long struggle with cancer. Honesty is a prevailing quality of this book, as Wilder freely discusses topics ranging from his own neuroses to the drug-fueled misbehavior of his great comedic partner, Richard Pryor. He also doesn't avoid telling the details of his own bout with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Wilder's fans may be disappointed to find relatively scant coverage of some of his triumphs, but Wilder clearly isn't interested in writing a conventional Hollywood memoir. His book candidly explores his own faults and feelings, as well as those of the people he's loved and lost. Photos. Agent, David Sarnoff. (Mar. 14) Forecast: Wilder's five-city tour will help market the book to fans, and a timely (if minor) hook is his voice role in the forthcoming comedy Instant Karma. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

'Funny, unusual and completely convincing.' The Mail on Sunday 'Wilder's prose is as probingly honest as his best performances.' Sunday Times 'Like it's author, it has great charm and intelligence.' Daily Mail -- Critic's Choice 'Pure Gene Wilder! Uproarishly funny and at times very moving. It made me want to go out and see every Gene Wilder movie again.' Mel Brooks

Twice nominated for Academy Awards in acting and screenwriting, Wilder is a comedic master whose performances in Blazing Saddles, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and The Producers continue to inspire younger actors. And as someone who has worked with Mel Brooks, he can kibbitz with the best of them. In his memoir, he focuses on his work as an artist and his interpersonal relationships, namely four marriages, the most famous of which was with Gilda Radner. Confessional in the literal sense (Jewish guilt factors prominently) as well as the stylistic (much of the narrative is a conversation with his therapist), the story follows a chronological arc, with hilarious and lovely anecdotal reminiscences of such figures as Carol Channing, Zero Mostel, Woody Allen, Richard Pryor, and Arthur Penn. Wilder often concludes chapters with a daisy chain-like summation, e.g., if-Stanley-Donen-hadn't-rearranged-hi s-schedule-I-wouldn't-have-met-Madeline-Kahn, as if to say everything works out for the best. A wonderful addition to the entertainment memoir Gene pool.-Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L., TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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