Gilda Radner Poster


Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (18) | Personal Quotes (2) | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 28 June 1946Detroit, Michigan, USA
Date of Death 20 May 1989Los Angeles, California, USA  (ovarian cancer)
Birth NameGilda Susan Radner
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Gilda Radner was one of the great comic geniuses of the 20th century, ranked up with Lucille Ball and other comedy legends of the highest caliber. She was born on June 28, 1946, in Detroit, Michigan, the younger of two children of Henrietta (Dworkin), a legal secretary, and Herman Radner, a businessman. She had an older brother, Michael. Her family were Jewish immigrants (from Russia, Poland, and Lithuania). Radner grew up with a nanny she always called Dibby, on whom she based her famous Saturday Night Live (1975) character, hard-of-hearing news correspondent Emily Litella. She was very close to her father, not as close to her mother, and tragically, her father died when she was 12, leaving her heartbroken. She was very overweight as a child, and because of this, she suffered from anorexia and bulimia and became very thin. She overcame these disorders by 16 and was normal weight, yet if you watch some of her episodes of Saturday Night Live (1975) you can see that her weight sometimes goes down very low and she looks anorexic again. She graduated from the Liggett school for Girls and enrolled at the University of Michigan but dropped out and followed a boyfriend to Canada, where she made her stage debut in Godspell. In 1975, Gilda was the first person ever cast for Saturday Night Live (1975), the show that would make her famous. She stayed on SNL for 5 years, from 1975 to 1980 and had a brief marriage to the SNL band guitarist G.E. Smith. On this show, she created characters like Emily Litella, loudmouthed Roseanne Roseannadanna, nerd Lisa Loopner, and Baba Wawa, a talk show host with a speech impediment. Gilda left the show in 1980 and married actor Gene Wilder, whom she met on a movie set and fell in love with nearly on the spot. A short while after, Gilda started having pains in her upper legs, and she was eventually diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She went through lots of chemotherapy and treatment, and finally her doctors told her that she was in remission. In this period of time, Gilda wrote her autobiography, called "It's Always Something," about her battles with cancer. However, cancer was found in her liver and her lungs after a more comprehensive check a while later. Now it was too late to do anything. Gilda died in her sleep on May 20, 1989.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Lara, Babygumm13@aol.com

Spouse (2)

Gene Wilder (18 September 1984 - 20 May 1989) (her death)
G.E. Smith (26 March 1980 - 1982) (divorced)

Trivia (18)

Dated Martin Short during the early seventies, after meeting him during the run of the legendary 1972 Toronto production of Godspell. In addition to Radner and Short, this production also starred Victor Garber, Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas and Andrea Martin, with Paul Shaffer as musical director. Radner's understudy, Canadian comic actress Nancy Dolman began dating Short in 1974 and married him in 1980.
One of the members of the Comedy troupe Second City.
Interred at Long Ridge Cemetery, Stamford, Connecticut, USA.
Her mother named her after the title character played by Rita Hayworth in the 1944 film Gilda (1946).
Gene Wilder and Gilda's cancer psychotherapist, Joanna Bull, established Gilda's Club in 1991. It was Gilda's wish that a place could be established where people of all ages diagnosed with cancer could come together and support one another through the illness. The centers are non-medical and very homey, with an art center, exercise facility, game rooms and a children's room called Noogieland, so named for "noogies", one of Gilda's comedic actions. No such place as Gilda's Club existed when she battled her ovarian cancer. Gilda's Club now has centers all over the US and Canada.
She is the only female player from Saturday Night Live (1975) to win an Outstanding Performance Emmy for her work on the show.
Won a Posthumous Grammy for Best Spoken Word Or Non-Musical Recording in 1990.
She was of Russian Jewish, Polish Jewish, and Lithuanian Jewish descent.
Biography in: "American National Biography." Supplement 1, pp. 499-500. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Classic recurring characters include Roseanne Rosannadanna, Judy Miller, Emily Litella, Baba Wawa (a parody of Barbara Walters), Lisa Loopner, Candy Slice, and Rhonda Weiss.
Graduated from The Liggett School (now University Liggett School) in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan in 1966.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives." Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 718-720. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.
30 Rock (2006) star and creator (and ex-Saturday Night Live (1975) writer and player) Tina Fey has named Gilda as the main reason she became a comedy writer.
Had no children, suffered two miscarriages.
Was a mentor to Actress Catherine O'Hara.
Her SNL character of Roseanne Roseannadanna is the partial inspiration for the sobriquet of Glasgow, Scotland post-hardcore/indie-pop rock band Dananananaykroyd, as is the real name of her Saturday Night Live (1975) "Weekend Update" costar, Dan Aykroyd.
Was considered for the part of Shirley in "Laverne & Shirley" according to Penny Marshall.
She was romantically involved with Peter Firth in the late 1970s.

Personal Quotes (2)

Some stories don't have a clear beginning middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity...
There is no real security except for whatever you build inside yourself.

Salary (1)

Saturday Night Live (1975) $750 /week (1975 season)

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page