Tuesday 27 September 2016

Is the 4-year-old Irish boy Gene Wilder wanted to adopt still out there?

The late star apparently wanted to adopt a Dublin boy named David Hogarty

Amy Molloy

Published 30/08/2016 | 16:18

Gene Wilder (AP)
Gene Wilder (AP)

An inner-city Dublin boy captured the heart of Gene Wilder so much he wanted him to become his son.

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The actor met the boy while filming the Irish-American comedy Quackser has a Cousin in the Bronx.

Gene Wilder was a master at playing panicked characters (AP)
Gene Wilder was a master at playing panicked characters (AP)

In his autobiography, the actor spoke of the young boy who was involved as an extra on the set of the movie. He came from a big family and his father was disabled.

He wrote: “His mother wanted David to have a chance at life.”

At the time, Mr Hogarty would have been 4 years old, which would now make him 50..

Speaking on RTE’s Liveline, the writer of the movie Gabriel Walsh said: “Gene was a compassionate person, that was part of his talent actually. I was aware of the story but had no knowledge about it until after the film ended.”

Joe Duffy questioned if David Hogarty is still out there and whether he knows the man who wanted to be his adoptive father passed away last night, inviting him to get in touch with the show. 

Mr Walsh, who is originally from Inchicore and used to work as a waiter in the Shelbourne Hotel, told Joe Duffy about the inspiration behind the movie, and how he decided Gene Wilder was the man for the role of Quackser.

“I first met him when I was a bit drunk at a bar when I came back from the US army. I started reminiscing about my childhood in Dublin. I took out my pen and started writing notes on a paper napkin.

“I woke up the next morning and I saw Gene Wilder in another restaurant. I looked at the script on the paper napkins and said to him, you might be able to do this part.”

Gene Wilder with Cleavon Little in 'Blazing Saddles' in 1974
Gene Wilder with Cleavon Little in 'Blazing Saddles' in 1974

Gabriel Walsh has joined the long list of people who have shared their fond memories of the actor since he passed away at the age of 83 yesterday.

Jim Carrey took to Twitter last night to say: “Gene Wilder was one of the funniest and sweetest energies ever to take a human form. If there's a heaven he has a Golden Ticket.”

The actor is best known for his roles in movies Blazing Saddles and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Gene Wilder with Richard Pryor in 1980 comedy 'Stir Crazy'
Gene Wilder with Richard Pryor in 1980 comedy 'Stir Crazy'

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