EXCLUSIVE: Cloris Leachman, who worked with Gene Wilder on projects including Mel Brooks’ classic 1974 comedy Young Frankenstein, told Deadline via her reps that she had so much respect for the actor, who died Sunday. “Gene was in a class by himself,” she said. “I looked up to him, yet on the set he was just one of us.”
Leachman remembers how he kept cracking up during one scene in the iconic film in which she played Frau Blücher. Wilder said Young Frankenstein was his favorite film, and you can see from the blooper reel below how much fun they all had on set. Brooks has said in the past that Blücher translates to a horse going to a factory and being turned to glue, hence the horses neighing loudly every time her character’s name was mentioned.
“I remember when we were shooting Young Frankenstein there was a scene where I had to get the group up the stairs immediately. I had to say, ‘Shtay close to zee candles’ and turn toward him. As I turned around I could see his face was in two pieces. We had to do our scene 14 times over because he’d be laughing so hard. Alas, alas. So dear Gene, I vill say, ‘Goodnight.'”
One of Wilder’s reactions in that scene leads off the blooper reel below: