Legendary comedic actor Gene Wilder, best known for his roles in films like Young Frankenstein, The Producers, Blazing Saddles, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, passed away Monday after a struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. The actor was twice nominated for an Academy Award, one for his role in The Producers and the other as co-writer with Mel Brooks for Young Frankenstein. Wilder first gained attention in a production of Off Broadway’s Roots in 1961. He then continued working in television and on Broadway for a number of years, where he first caught the eye of filmmaker Mel Brooks. The actor starred in a production of Bonnie and Clyde in 1967 before teaming up with Brooks for his breakout role in The Producers, which earned him his first nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Continue reading →
Comedians Eddie Murphy (left) and Richard Pryor (right).
Director Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler) is currently working on getting a biographical drama focusing on Richard Pryor underway, and some news regarding the supporting cast has now surfaced from THR. Comedy-veteran Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop, Coming To America) is now set to portray Pryor’s abusive, alcoholic father, a period that proved incredibly influential on the comedian’s work and only added to his comedic-legacy. Also included on the cast list is comedic-actor Mike Epps (Next Friday, The Hangover) and Oscar-nominee Kate Hudson (Almost Famous, Something Borrowed). Thus far there is no scheduled release date and Daniels has yet to develop a script or find a screenwriter, but with the cast filling out we should see that get underway relatively quickly. Stay tuned for more news.