When Gene Wilder starred in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, he cemented his place forever in the annals of Hollywood. Until his death, he was one of the most revered actors in Hollywood and left a legacy that has defined the life of his only child, his daughter, Katharine Wilder.
Katharine Wilder, unlike the daughters and sons of many Hollywood celebrities, hasn’t followed in the footsteps of her father to become an actor and has instead, retreated from media attention, choosing to live outside of the image her father left behind.
There is much to learn about Katharine Wilder, her strained relationship with her father and other interesting facts. Scroll down to learn more.
Katharine Wilder – Biography
When exactly Katharine Wilder was born remains an unknown fact to date but she has lived her life as the daughter of late iconic actor, Gene Wilder, and mother, Mary Joan Schutz. She was born in the United States where she was equally raised. Not much is known about her childhood, other than the fact that she was adopted by Gene Wilder.
While most people would be happy to enjoy the claim to fame given to them by having a father of Gene Wilder’s status, Katharine Wilder gave it all up and cut ties with her father at age of 23 after she learned of his infidelity. The disintegration of the relationship between her and Gene forced her into hiding where she has continued to live outside of media consciousness, thereby resulting in the absence of information about her professional life.
Her parents were Gene Wilder and Mary Joan Schutz. While her mother is relatively unknown and has no real footprint in the entertainment industry, her father, on the other hand, will always be a legend in the industry.
His career as an iconic comedic actor began on screen in 1961 and he reached one of the highest points of his career ten years after when Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was released in 1971. Since then, he has gone on to star in several more comedic projects – Stir Crazy, Silver Streak, Alice in Wonderland and so many others.
Katharine Wilder’s father’s work extended past acting but also into directing, screenwriting, and producing. Towards the end of his life, he wrote a book, Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art, which was dedicated to her.
Katharine Wilder may not have had a good relationship with her father, but it was never in question that her father loved her. Her mother, Mary Joan, however, has a very simple life. She and Gene were married for seven years before they got divorced due to infidelity on the part of Gene. The marriage came to be after Gene met her through his sister, Corinne.
Katharine Wilder has managed to achieve a complete absence from the media radar, enough to shroud details of her personal life in mystery. Nothing is known about her regarding the existence of a boyfriend or a husband and thus, we cannot say if she has any children.
Other Facts About Katharine Wilder
- She was her father’s only child
Gene Wilder may have been married four times in addition to several other women whom he was dating, but he only had one child – Katharine. She is not biologically related to Gene but the bond that he shared with her and the lingering pain of estrangement that followed his infidelity are more than elements of a father-daughter relationship between them.
- She is entitled to an inheritance of $20 million
Is Katharine Wilder’s dislike for her father strong enough to abandon the $20 million worth of inheritance left for her following her father’s death? We could not possibly say, but at the time of his death in 2016, Gene Wilder was worth $20 million, all of which Katharine is entitled to as his only child.
- Her father’s death
At the age of 83, after a full life which had been spent bringing laughter and joy to the faces of millions of people around the globe, Katharine’s father, Gene Wilder, died in 2016 from complications resulting from Alzheimer’s disease.