CliqueClack Flicks

Young Frankenstein – Where are they now?

For my part of Young Frankenstein Week, I chose to find out where our favorite members of the cast are at this very moment. Some stories are happy. Some ... aren't. But it's real life, and someone has to write about it.

I was so happy (and not surprised) when crazy Michael Noble came up with the idea to showcase this movie. I mean, who does not love Young Frankenstein? I remember watching it over and over in my favorite local theater with my best friend Katie. In fact, I think Gene Wilder was one of my first Movie Man crushes. Not discounting Robert Redford, of course. And that’s so funny! I mean, talk about polar opposites. Robert Redford was unobtainable. Face it. Then here came Gene, all wickedly sarcastic and sweet. He was more like a “real guy.” With an actual brain. Now we’re talkin! No wonder Gilda loved him so much.

So, where is he now?? Well, his current book “What Is This Thing Called Love” is out in paperback.  He’s 78 years old now. He’s written other books, survived a horrible childhood, suffered from angst, fought his own battle with cancer, been in a war, and married four times. He appears oftentimes in guest roles in your favorite shows. He seems a sensitive soul in interviews, and he does not give many. From what I can find, Gene is leading a quiet life. But no doubt an introspective one, as most who know him describe him as a rather deep and serious person. Man! I’d love to meet him.

Terri Garr unfortunately was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1983, and with the progression of the disease has only been able to work sporadically. How sad, as she’s such a great comedic actor, and was stricken so young. It apparently took years to figure out the correct diagnosis; Garr went public with it in 2003 to help others dealing with MS. She has since become a huge advocate in finding a cure for and getting the word out (especially to women) about managing the illness. In 2005, she was honored as Woman of the Year by the Women Against Multiple Sclerosis Society. She’s fabulous!

Cloris Leachman? I’m sure I don’t have to tell you about her! But I will, in case you’ve been residing under a boulder. She was finally inducted into the Television Hall of Fame last January, and continues to appear in films, television, and she even tackled Dancing With the Stars a couple seasons ago! Most notably these days, she appears in the Fox sitcom Raising Hope. If you haven’t caught her in this little gem of a show, I highly recommend it. Cloris’ character, Maw Maw, is simply one of the funniest on television at the present time. She just shines. And! She’s eighty-five!

Sadly, we lost Marty Feldman in 1982 to a heat attack at the age of just forty-eight. Mel Brooks has been noted as saying he attributes Marty’s death to his six pack a day cigarette habit. (Wow!)

Peter Boyle, as you know, was a wickedly talented man. Of course, he gained the most acclaim for his portrayal of Frank Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond. He was utterly perfect in that part, and he’ll live on in syndication forever. But! My favorite fun fact about Peter Boyle? John Lennon was the best man at his wedding. Uh huh.

Peter died just five years ago from heart related issues. He’d already had one heart attack on the set of Raymond a few years earlier. But his career before and after YF was the stuff that legends are made of, that’s for certain. So many great films, from Taxi Driver to The Dream Team to Monster’s Ball. And tons of theatre work in addition to the many seasons of Raymond. A full life, right there …

Madeline Kahn’s story makes me saddest of all. She died from ovarian cancer quickly, when she was only 57 years old, in 1999.  She was an idol of mine. So funny, with perfect timing and facial expression. That’s really all I have to say about that. You can read more on the Wiki link.

So, to wrap this one up in a bow … what a great troupe of actors Mel Brooks brought together for this classic film. Hey! Maybe that’s why it’s a classic, huh?



Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

Categories: Features, General

2 Responses to “Young Frankenstein – Where are they now?”

October 19, 2011 at 8:51 AM

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I’ve heard cartoonist Sergio Aragonés tell his “I killed Marty Feldman” story a time or two when both were filming down in Mexico. The tale revolves around Aragonés meeting and frightening him and possibly setting up the circumstances of Feldman’s death.

The way he tells it is quite amusing in his ultra-thick Spanish accent, but he does so with a deep love of the man. In memorium, he paid tribute to Feldman with a comic strip tale of the event.

October 19, 2011 at 9:32 AM

:) I spit my Diet Ginger Ale all over my desk at Crazy Michael Noble and it just kept getting better! Great post

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