Although “The Woman in Red” was not considered one of Wilder’s greatest projects, there are some elements that will never be forgotten. And we are not referring only to Kelly LeBrook and her stunning red dress.
Wilder wrote the script of the movie, which was inspired by the French movie “Pardon Mon Affaire.” “The Woman in Red” won the Academy Award for best song, featuring Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” Interestingly, while it’s not one of Wilder’s most memorable movies, it did more than just break even at the box office, having grossed $25.3 million against a $9 million budget.
Wilder Did Many Collaborations With Poitier
In 1982, Wilder and Sidney Poitier started working on a script called “Traces,” which later became the famous film “Hanky Panky.” You didn't think they would stop after just one project together, right? Apart from being very well received, the film was where he met comedian, Gilda Radner.
At first, the two co-stars became fast friends, as they were both dating other people at the time. But it didn’t take long for these two friends to realize they were crazy about each other, especially after filming ended and they went their separate ways. They just missed each other too much!
Gilda Radner Was the Love of His Life
When two such comedic personalities meet and have a good connection, it is almost inevitable for them to become an item, and that's exactly what happened. By the time they finished filming “Hanky Panky” in 1982, Radner and Wilder moved in together and decided to get married two years later. They worked on several projects together during those years, including “The Woman in Red” and “Haunted Honeymoon.”
Unfortunately, neither of the projects was a commercial success, and since the couple was thinking of starting a family by that time, they took a break from the industry for a few months.
Wilder and Radner Couldn’t Have Children
Once Wilder and Radner decided to start trying for a family, tragedy ensued. Radner had several miscarriages, and no doctor could give them a reason why. Getting pregnant can be incredibly easy for some and incredibly difficult for others. For Radner it became impossible to carry a pregnancy to term. Radner decided to go back to the set to distract her mind off her difficulty and started getting sharp pains in her legs and shortness of breath.
She sought medical treatment and consulted many doctors, listened to countless diagnoses that ended up being wrong until finally, they found she had ovarian cancer.
Wilder Thought Radner Was in Remission
The couple obviously rerouted their efforts from getting pregnant to getting Gilda healthy. After a very tough year and a half of chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions, during which Wilder never left Radner’s side, her cancer went into remission.
The couple was as happy as can be, with Wilder even going back to work on a TriStar Pictures production in which he starred alongside Richard Pryor. Unfortunately, a year later, in 1989, Radner's cancer came back and metastasized. Gilda Radner passed away in May 1989. This made Radner the second person in Wilder's life that he had lost to cancer — the first one being his mother.