Today we learned the melancholy news that a beloved actor Gene Wilder died at age 83 from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease.
Famous for his roles as “Frahn-ken-SHTEEN” and Willy Wonka and collaborations with Mel Brooks, Wilder began his career onstage, according to his obituary, and his very first screen role was in “Bonnie and Clyde,” much of which was filmed in Dallas, and specifically in the area we now call Vickery Meadow, then merely Vickery and, during the 1966 filming populated with 1920s-style bungalows.
The historians at Flashback Dallas last year dug up a photo of the film crew at the Vickery Courts motor lodge at 6949 Greenville Avenue, just north of Park Lane.
A Dallas County Deputy Sheriff — one of the six men who tracked down, ambushed, and killed Bonnie and Clyde in 1934 — actually owned said motor lodge, making it one of several spots that crossed paths with both “Bonnie and Clyde” the film and Bonnie and Clyde the outlaws.
That’s a block from what once was The Filling Station restaurant and bar, famously frequented by the renegade duo during its days as a gas station, and which also appears in a scene of the movie.
Today Lake Highlands resident Steve Cole owns that erstwhile gas station — it’s a Schlotzky’s with many of it’s vintage pieces still intact.
Flashback also learned that “Bonnie and Clyde” interiors were shot at a large soundstage on Dyer, just off Greenville, called Stage 2, something not widely reported, despite endless “Bonnie and Clyde” filming locations websites and videos.
Now, the scene, above, featuring a young Wilder, was not likely filmed in Dallas proper, but more likely in the Crandall area just outside of our city.