Why Gene Wilder didn't make a movie in his last 25 years

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Why Gene Wilder Didn't Make a Movie in His Last 25 Years


Gene Wilder made more than enough iconic films to cement his legacy. But during the later years of his life, Wilder appeared in almost nothing. His last feature film, "Another You," came out in 1991.

In an interview at New York's 92nd Street Y in 2013, Wilder explained how he became disillusioned with the style of films that became popular in Hollywood.

"But then I didn't want to do the kind of junk that I was seeing," Wilder said during the interview. "I didn't want to do 3-D, for instance. I didn't want to do ones with bombing and loud and swearing."

SEE MORE: Gene Wilder, Star Of 'Willy Wonka' And Many, Many Others, Dies At 83

The vast majority of Wilder's work happened in the 1970s and 1980s, when he collaborated with comedy legends such as Mel Brooks and Richard Pryor.

PHOTOS: Gene Wilder through the years

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Gene Wilder through the years
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Gene Wilder through the years
Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka and Peter Ostrum as Charlie Bucket on the set of the fantasy film 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory', based on the book by Roald Dahl, 1971. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Actor Gene Wilder (right) puts his arm around the shoulder of Cleavon Little in a still from the film, 'Blazing Saddles,' directed by Mel Brooks, 1974. (Photo by Warner Bros./Courtesy of Getty Images)
1974-Publicity headshot of Gene Wilder starring in Young Frankenstein. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
THE BELL SYSTEM FAMILY THEATRE -- 'The Trouble with People' -- Pictured: Gene Wilder as Ernie in 'The Office Sharers' -- (Photo by: Art Selby & Al Levine/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Promotional shot of actor Gene Wilder, as he appears in the movie 'The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother', 1975. (Photo by Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty Images)
Gene Wilder. December 04, 1980. (Photo by Adam Scull/New York Post Archives / (c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
Gene Wilder and Kelly LeBrock in publicity portrait for the film 'The Woman In Red', 1984. (Photo by Orion/Getty Images)
Gene Wilder holds a torch in a scene from the film 'Hanky Panky', 1982. (Photo by Columbia Pictures/Getty Images)
American actor Gene Wilder (L) performs alongside compatriot Rolf Saxon, October 2, during the rehearsal of a scene from Neil Simon's 'Laughter on the 23rd Floor'.
1999 Gene Wilder Stars As The 'Turtle' In The Tv Movie 'Alice In Wonderland.' (Photo By Getty Images)
Gene Wilder during Opening of Gilda's Club for Cancer Support - October 17, 1993 at Gilda's Club, Greenwhich Village in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
NEW YORK - MARCH 15: Actor Gene Wilder signs copies of his new book at Barnes and Noble in Midtown Manhattan March 15, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)
Gene Wilder in Beverly Hills, California (Photo by Jesse Grant/WireImage)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 05: Gene Wilder and his wife Karen Boyer watch as Shahar Peer of Israel takes on Anna Chakvetadze of Russia during day ten of the 2007 U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2007 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
In this April 9, 2008 file photo, actor Gene Wilder listens as he is introduced to receive the Governor's Awards for Excellence in Culture and Tourism at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Conn. Wilder, who starred in such film classics as "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and "Young Frankenstein" has died. He was 83. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)
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Wilder was nominated for two Oscars: best supporting actor for "The Producers" and best adapted screenplay for "Young Frankenstein."

Wilder said he would have been happy to do more films like those, but comedy went in a different direction than the one he was comfortable with.

"If something comes along that's really good and I think I would be good for it, I would be happy to do it. But not too many came along," Wilder said.

But just because he was off camera doesn't mean he wasn't busy. After shying away from show business, Wilder wrote six books, including a few novels and a memoir.

Wilder died Monday of complications from Alzheimer's disease. The 83-year-old was surrounded by his family in his Connecticut home. His nephew said he kept the diagnosis a secret because "he simply couldn't bear the idea of one less smile in the world."

Check out Gene Wilder's best movies

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Most popular Gene Wilder movies
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Most popular Gene Wilder movies
Stir Crazy (1980)
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