Show Business: The Happy Peasant

With his wayward orange mane and glazed fish-green eyes. Gene Wilder conveys a beguiling look of incipient madness. In his films to date he has seemed always on the verge of lurching into some marvelously insane enterprise. For a time he worried about becoming typecast as Hollywood's favorite neurasthenic comedian. "There was always a reservoir of hysteria in me that I could call upon as an actor," says Wilder. "As I grew out of it, I became more and more dissatisfied with the parts I was playing. But Hollywood, of course, couldn't...

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