Gilda Radner

From ArticleWorld

Gilda Radner was a comedian and actress most known for her time on Saturday Night Live. Radner was born on June 28, 1946 in Detroit, Michigan to a wealthy Jewish-American family. She went to the University of Michigan and majored in drama. She moved to Toronto, Canada where she got her first professional stage experience and began her acting career. She appeared in Godspell', then became a member of the Toronto Second City comedy troupe.

Radner was a part of the National Lampoon Radio Hour from 1973 to 1975, along with John Belushi, Richard Belzer, Bill Murray, and Chevy Chase. She radio show was a thirty minute comedy special that was broadcast over 600 United States stations.

She rose to fame when she landed a spot as one of the original cast members on Saturday Night Live. In fact, she was the very first actor given a spot on SNL. She stayed with SNL from 1975 until 1980, and played characters like "Baba Wawa", a character making fun of Barbara Walters, and various others.

Radner went through many personal struggles while on the show. She battled bulimia throughout her acting career and had a personal relationship with co-star Bill Murray which had a bad ending.

During the 1980’s, Radner stayed out of the media’s attention, and in the late 80’s, at the height of her popularity and career, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She received much support from friends and family, especially her husband Gene Wilder, but suffered an immense amount of pains from chemotherapy. She was told she was in remission and she authored a book about her life with cancer, and soon reentered show business.

She starred on "It’s Garry Shandling’s Show" in 1988 and was planning a return to SNL in 1989, but upon a doctors visit found out that her cancer had spread. She died on May 20, 1989 at the young age of 48.