Historical Events  People
Gene Wilders third death

Gene Wilder - died early 2000's, 2012 or 2016?

Many people were surprised to hear of Gene Wilder's death in 2016 because they were sure he died earlier - many thinking it was in 2012, and also many thinking it was in the early 2000's.

Usually with a Mandela Effect, people are shocked when they hear of the person's death but agree on roughly when the first one was, such as Nelson himself supposedly dying in prison in the 1980's. With Gene Wilder, the first one is either, or both, the early 2000's and 2012. 

The internet might play a role in this. Celebrity deaths are often reported as fake news for various reasons. Often these hoaxes are motivated by money - clicks to some website will generate revenue via adverts. For whatever reason, Gene will be sadly missed and no doubt be highly amused if he could see all of this! It's also interesting to wonder if this would have been called The Wilder Effect had Nelson not been involved...

Willy Wonka

Although he's perhaps best known for his role as Willy Wonka in the 1971 movie version of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Wilder began his career as a stage actor before his first TV appearance in 1961 in an episode of The Play of the Week. He had a spell in Bristol, England and also became a fencing champion. When enlisting in the army, he was offered a choice of available roles and so became a paramedic so he could stay in New York, near his acting classes. He was still going by his birth name, Jerry Silberman, when he decided to use a stage name. "Gene" came from Eugene Grant in the novel Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe, and Wilder from the novelist Thornton Wilder.

Gene died listening to Ella Fizgerald's Over The Rainbow, one of his favorite songs.