Mary Joan Schutz: learn more about Gene Wilder's spouse

Mary Joan Schutz: learn more about Gene Wilder's spouse

Mary Joan Schutz is widely known as Gene Wilder's ex-wife. Gene is a renowned actor, comedian, filmmaker, and author. He is famous for his role as Willy Wonka in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. He has won awards such as the Primetime Emmy, the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Nebula.

Gene Wilder with his wife Mary Joan Schutz (L) Actor Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka on set (R)
Gene Wilder with his wife Mary Joan Schutz during 41st Annual Academy Awards (L) Actor Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka on set (R). Photo: ABC Photo Archives, Silver Screen Collections (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images


Mary Joan Schutz was born in Pennsylvania, United States of America. She gained fame following her marriage to Gene Wilder. She has managed to maintain a low profile since their marriage ended in 1974. Her daughter Katharine Wilder is an actress.

Profile summary

Full nameMary Joan Schutz
Date of birth1938
Age86 years old (as of 2024)
Place of birthPennsylvania, United States of America
MotherNancy Schutz
FatherRobert L Schutz
Marital statusDivorced
Ex-spouseGene Wilder

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Mary Joan Schutz's bio

She was born in Pennsylvania, United States of America, and she is the daughter of Nancy Schutz and Robert L. Schultz. According to 1940 census records, she was born around 1938 and is 86 years old as of 2024.

Why is Mary Joan Schutz famous?

Quick facts about Mary Joan Schutz
Top-5 facts about Mary Joan Schutz. Photo: ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images (modified by author)
Source: Original

She is known as Gene Wilder's ex-wife. Gene Wilder started his acting career in 1961 when he played the role of Happy in the television series Play of the Week. He started being recognized in the entertainment industry when he portrayed Leo Bloom in The Producers. The actor became widely recognized in 1971 when he appeared in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory as Willy Wonka.

He has played notable roles in popular films such as The Scarecrow, Death of a Salesman and The Lady in Question. According to his IMDb profile, he has 37 acting credits. He has also written films such as Sunday Lovers and Haunted Honeymoon. Gene Wilder is also recognized for his books, such as The Woman Who Wouldn't and Even Dogs Learn How to Swim.

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Gene Wilder and Mary Joan Schutz's relationship

They met through Gene Wilder's sister and married on 27 October 1967. Mary Joan Schutz had a daughter from her previous marriage. Gene Wilder adopted her when she started calling him 'Dad.' He adopted her the same year they got married.

They parted ways in 1974 after Mary Joan Schutz suspected Gene Wilder of having an affair with his Young Frankenstein co-star, Madeline Kahn.

Gene Wilder's daughter

The American comedian adopted Mary Joan Schutz's daughter after marrying in 1967. She is Gene Wilder's only child. Katharine Wilder is an American actress famous for portraying Audrey Fleming in the television series Call the Midwife. According to her IMDb profile, she has 16 acting credits. She is also known for popular films such as Darwin Story, The Faceless Lady, and Two Heads Creek.

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Katharine Wilder was estranged from her father after her parents divorced. She cut all ties with him. The comedian authored Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art for his daughter.

The book details his life, and he hoped that Katharine would read it and reconcile with him at some point. However, the actor passed away in 2016, and sources say the two did not reconcile.

How did Gene Wilder pass away?

Gene Wilder attends An Evening With Gene Wilder
Gene Wilder during An Evening With Gene Wilder at the 92nd Street Y on June 13, 2013 in New York City. Photo: John Lamparski (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

The American actor died from Alzheimer's disease. He has been diagnosed with the illness three years before his demise. His family did not reveal his diagnosis until his death. He passed away at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, United States of America.

According to the New York Times, his nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman revealed that his uncle died from Alzheimer's disease. Gene Wilder died at the age of 83.

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  1. Who is Mary Joan Schutz? She is known as Gene Wilder's ex-wife. The two were married from 1967 to 1989.
  2. Who is Gene Wilder's daughter? He had one daughter, Katharine Wilder, an actress.
  3. Did Gene Wilder remarry after Mary Joan Schutz? After their divorce, he married Gilder Radner. When Gilder Radner passed away, he got married to Karen Boyer.
  4. How did Mary Joan Schutz and Gene Wilder meet? They met through Gene Wilder's sister.
  5. What is Mary Joan Schutz's nationality? She is American.
  6. How many children does Mary Joan Schutz have? She has one daughter, Katharine Wilder.
  7. Who was Gene Wilder's spouse? The American comedian was Karen Boyer's husband from 1991 until his demise in 2016.

Mary Joan Schutz came into the limelight following her marriage to Gene Wilder. She met Gene through his sister. The two married in 1967 and lasted for seven years. The comedian remarried twice after his divorce from Mary Joan Schutz.

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Brian Oroo (Lifestyle writer) Brian Oroo has been working as a writer in since 2021. His main area of specialization is on topics regarding lifestyle, celebrities, news, and many more. He won the Writer of the Year Award on Legit in 2023. Brian graduated with a Bsc. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Jomo Kenyatta University (JKUAT) in 2021. In 2023, Brian finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques. His email is

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