Gilda Radner

A gifted comedian, Gilda Radner made a name for herself as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live. Radner got her start in Toronto in 1972 before joining the Toronto Second City Comedy Troupe. In 1974, she joined the National Lampoon Radio Hour with many of the same players who would go on to Saturday Night Live. When SNL was created in 1975, Radner was the first person cast. She parodied celebrities like Barbara Walters, but was best known for her original characters, such as the bumbling commentator Emily Litella and the brash personal advice guru Rosanne Rosannadanna. She won an Emmy for her work on SNL in 1978. In 1980, she left the show to begin a film career, falling in love at first sight with Gene Wilder on the set of Hanky Panky in 1982 and marrying him in 1984. She made several more films before her death from ovarian cancer in 1989. Her autobiography, It’s Always Something, was published that year.

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I was privileged to see "Love, Gilda" last night at the Tampa theatre.  I so loved Gilda's art and the joy she brought to so many.  Some of my favorite late-night TV viewing was SNL and  Rosanna Rosanna Danna.  We lost a beautiful gift when she passed, but her art will be timeless.  May her memory always be a blessing.



Gilda Radner.
Courtesy of Michael Radner
Date of Birth

Detroit, MI
United States

Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Gilda Radner." (Viewed on August 8, 2020) <>.


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