Katharine Wilder is the adopted daughter of the late American actor comedian and filmmaker Gene Wilder. Her father was famous for his comedic roles and mainly for portraying Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. His other work includes Silver Streak, Stir Crazy, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Another You.
Besides this, Gene Wilder’s daughter Katharine is famous for her performance in the movie All Is True (2018) and Frontier (2016). The actress, however, is entirely private when talking about her personal life.
Likewise, did you know Katharine broke all of her ties with her father? So, why did Katharine not want to see her dad? Today we will look into Katharine Wilder’s life and uncover some mindboggling facts about Gene Wilder’s daughter.
Katharine Wilder Was Adopted By Gene Wilder: Facts About Her Early Life, Age
Katharine was born in June 1960 in America. She is 62 years old as of 2023. She was born to Mary Joan Schutz and her former husband. Katharine was later adopted by Gene after her mother married him in 1967.
Regarding her ethnicity, the celebrity daughter has Caucasian ancestry and is American by nationality.
On the other hand, her late father Gene Wilder was born Jerome Silberman on June 11, 1933, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. He was the son of Jeanne and William J. Silberman.
Her Academic Qualifications
Katharine graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature.
On the flip side, her father was a student at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and later attended the University of Iowa graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1955.
Katharine Wilder Is An Actress Like Her Father
Gene Wilder’s daughter has also made her way into acting like her father and has appeared in multiple movies and TV series. Her first appearance was in the 2015 drama Branagh Theatre Live: The Winter’s Tale. A year later, the actress appeared in Branagh Theatre Live: Romeo and Juliet. Likewise, she played the role of Chaulk in the TV series Frontier (2017-2018). Her other notable credits include Two Head Creek (2019), Anatomy of a Scandal (2022), and Dangerous Liaisons (2022).
Is She Truly A Program Manager?
Many sources claim that Gene Wilder’s adopted daughter is currently working as a program manager. However, this is false. The person they are stating as Katharine is actually a different individual whose name matches the actress.
The woman in question worked as a Design Production Coordinator for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt from 1999 to 2004.
Katharine Wilder’s Parents Had A Short-Lived Marriage
The actor met his future wife and Katharine’s mother Mary Joan Schutz in 1965. She was one of the close friends of his sister. The couple soon started dating and got engaged a year later in 1966. Gradually, they became pretty close to each other and even Katharine started to call him dad.
Gene was moved by this and decided to do the ‘right thing.’ The duo walked down the aisle on October 27, 1967, and Gene adopted Katharine the same year. Everything was going fine in their marriage when they suddenly decided to end their relationship and separated in 1974. Their divorce was finalized on 24 November 1980.
Katharine Wilder Cut All Ties With Her Father And Here’s Why
The actress was so upset at Gene because she thought that her father was having an affair with Madeline Kahn, a co-star in the movie Young Frankenstein. At the time, he was married to Katharine’s mom and this played a huge role in her estrangement from the actor. Similarly, during a 2002 interview with Larry King, Gene spoke about the matter and said he lost his daughter a long, long time ago when she was 22-23 years old.
“I had a daughter and lost her a long while ago. That’s too sad a story to go into. When I lost her she was twenty-two or three.”
The Actor Had Written A Book For Her But Doubted That She Wouldn’t Read It
Katharine’s dad had released a book named Kiss Me Like A Stranger. During its release, the Young Frankenstein actor talked about his estranged daughter saying that even if he cared deeply for her, he couldn’t be there for her because he always wanted to at the center of attention.
Similarly, he said that he had written the book for her but doubted that she would ever read it. Gene said, “If she does read my book, I hope it will explain some things that she didn’t want to understand.” He was so sad about losing his one and only daughter and had written the book in the hopes that she would reconcile with him but sadly it never happened.
Katharine’s Dad Gene Wilder Died At The Age Of 83
The actor died at the age of 83 on 29th August 2016, in his home in Stamford, Connecticut. He died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was diagnosed 3 years before his demise but decided to keep it a secret. Wilder’s nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman said that he decided so that his fans would not be saddened. During an interview Jordan said,
“The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him ‘there’s Willy Wonka,’ would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment, or confusion. He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.”
Similarly, according to his loved ones, the Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory actor took his last breath listening to his favorite song Over the Rainbow by Ella Fitzgerald.
Is Katharine Wilder Married? Her Relationship Status
The celebrity daughter is 62 years old so, she might be married. However, there isn’t any information available to us in that regard. Katharine likes to keep her personal life notoriously private from the media but we can make an assumption by looking at her age that she might be married to the love of her life and is leading a happy and blissful relationship.
On the other hand, her father Gene Wilder was married four times during his lifetime. He married Mary Mercier on July 22, 1960, and got divorced in 1965. Two years later, he married Katharine’s mother in 1967 and divorced in 1980. Similarly, he was married to Gilda Radner. The duo was together from 18 September 1984 to 20 May 1989 until she died of ovarian cancer. Likewise, he was married to Karen Boyer from 1991 until his death on 29 August 2016.
How Rich Is Kathrine Wilder?
Kathrine Wilder is an actress by profession thus it is without any doubt that she has been making a lot of money from her career. According to several sources, she has a total net worth of $3 million.
On the other hand, her late father Gene Wilder had a total net worth of $20 million at the time of his death. He had earned all of his wealth from his career as an actor-comedian and director.