Remembering Gene Wilder: 3 movies the actor starred in filmed in Arizona

Posted at 5:43 PM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-30 00:34:07-04

On Monday, the world learned that actor Gene Wilder had died.

Wilder's nephew confirmed to multiple media outlets, including ABC News and Associated Press, that the actor passed away earlier this month from complications related to Alzheimer's. He was 83.

RELATED: 5 sweet things Gene Wilder taught us as Wonka

He was known for playing Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Dr. Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein. Other credits include Blazing Saddles and The Producers.

Did you know that several of the films Wilder starred in were partially filmed in Arizona?


Wilder starred next to Harrison Ford in the 1979 flick, The Frisco Kid. He played Rabbi Avram, a rabbi traveling from Philadelphia to San Francisco to open a synagogue. While on his way, he's robbed of his stuff and nearly killed.

Portions of the film were shot at Old Tucson (then known as Old Tucson Studios), a large Western film set in Tucson. The studio shared two photos of Wilder on set with ABC15.


In Stir Crazy, Wilder plays Skip Donohue, an aspiring playwright, who gets mistaken for a bank robber, along with his friend Harry Monroe, played by Richard Pryor, and both are sentenced to a lifetime behind bars.

The prison scenes were filmed at the state prison in Florence.


As reports, Gene Wilder filmed portions of Hanky Panky (1982) in Tucson. Wilder played Michael Jordon, an innocent man who became entangled in a series of government secrets after a girl he shared a taxi with, is killed.

The photos show Wilder talking with a newspaper reporter while taking a lunch break. There are also photos from the set of "The Frisco Kid."