Gilda Radner’s lasting legacy


As the very first cast member hired for "Saturday Night Live," Gilda Radner set the mold for generations of comedic performers. Nearly 30 years after her death at the age of 42, she remains a comedy icon and an inspiration to the cancer support community that bears her name. Filmmaker Lisa D'Apolito's fascination with the late star took her on a four-year journey into her life and legacy. The result is "Love, Gilda," the new documentary from CNN films that opened this year's Tribeca Film Festival and is slated next for a theatrical run.

As a female performer holding her own against the likes of John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd and Bill Murray, D'Apolito told Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams on "Salon Talks" that "the great thing about Gilda is that she felt she was equal to the guys.” D'Apolito continued, “I think the guys really respected her. When she was in situations where it wasn't really working out for her, she was so astute being able to turn the situation around."

Although Radner's life had an untimely end, D'Apolito said, "I always wanted to portray the Gilda who's out there. She had long periods of remission where she just lived her life, but it was not an easy road for her. But up until three weeks before she died, she felt really positive about everything. Gilda touched so many people."

Watch the video above to see D'Apolito reveal what the late Gene Wilder told her about his wife, and who was the only member of the "Ghostbusters" cast Radner didn't date. Tune in for SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage", daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon, Facebook and Periscope..

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