the late late show with james corden cbs

Whenever a famous person passes away, stories often come up about the celebrity to make us smile, even in the face of such a huge loss. The Late Late Show host James Corden recently shared one of those lovely stories about Gene Wilder after news that the Young Frankenstein actor had passed away reached the public. During last night's episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden the late night host explained exactly what happened when he invited Gene Wilder onto the show.

Corden recounted that he actually met Gene Wilder, once, when he was performing on Broadway. The actor actually sat with him for a half hour and just talked about life and living in New York City. Later, on The Late Late Show James Corden did a bit that was based on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and he wanted Gene Wilder for it. The actor ultimately passed, but Corden says the note he got from Gene Wilder was a class act, and in fact, one of the most touching notes he'd ever gotten from a celebrity. Here's what the note said:

Dearest James,

I don't do or go where you were hoping, but I'll be looking for you.

With my love,

Gene

I'm sure that when most celebrities decline appearances on late night shows, they just have their agents deliver the message. However, Corden says that he was able to exchange emails with Gene Wilder on the night of the play, which gave him more personal access to the celebrity, and let to the email above.

You can hear the full story about the Broadway meeting and James Corden's later introduction to late night straight from Corden's mouth, below.

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News broke on Monday that Gene Wilder had died at the age of 83, due to complications from Alzheimer's disease. Wilder had mostly been retired from acting for years, and his only recent gig was a guest stint on Yo Gabba Gabba back in 2015. (Although there had been rumors that the man might take on one last role.) Still, the man was a two-time Oscar nominee and a legend in the acting community. He left behind a slew of iconic roles that will still be remembered for generations to come. He'll certainly be fondly remembered by James Corden.

New episodes of The Late Late Show with James Corden air at 12:37 p.m. ET, only on CBS.

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