Who was Yvonne Wilder?

Yvonne Othon was born in New York City, USA, on 21 September 1937 – her zodiac sign was Virgo, and she held American nationality. She was an actress, comedienne and artist, with close to 50 acting credits to her name, perhaps still remembered best for her debut film appearance portraying Consuelo in the 1961 musical movie “West Side Story”, directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise, and which starred Natalie Wood, George Chakiris and Richard Beymer. It follows two people from rival gangs who’ve fallen in love, and the movie won 38 awards, including 10 Oscars, while it was nominated for 10 other awards.

Image source

Early life and education

Yvonne was raised in The Bronx, New York City, alongside her four siblings by their Cuban father and Puerto Rican mother; not a lot is known about Yvonne’s family, as she respected their privacy, but it’s believed that her father was a janitor, and her mother a cashier at a local market.

Yvonne became interested in acting at a very early age, appearing in plays performed both at school and a local theatre. She enrolled at High School for Performing Arts in 1951, and was physically highly active during her four years there, as she played a couple of sports and practiced dancing.

Upon matriculating in 1955, Yvonne moved to London, England and enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, from which she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1959.

Roles in movies

Yvonne changed herr surname in the mid-‘60s for unknown reasons, then portrayed Dove in the 1967 western comedy “Waterhole #3”, while a couple of her following roles were in the 1971 horror “The Return of Count Yorga”, and the 1974 comedies “Sonny Boy” and “Lily”.

She played Studio Chief’s Secretary in the 1976 comedy “Silent Movie”, written and directed by Mel Brooks, who also starred in it alongside Marty Feldman and Dom DeLuise. It follows a movie director and his friends as they’re trying to produce a silent movie – the film won one of the seven awards for which it was nominated.

Yvonne’s following notable performance was her portrayal of Aurora De La Hoya in the 1980 romantic comedy “Seems Like Old Times”, directed by Jay Sandrich, and which starred Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase and Charles Grodin. It tells the story of a man who’s been wrongfully accused of a bank robbery, and is now seeking help from his former wife, who’s married to a lawyer; the movie was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Charles Grodin).

Three of Yvonne’s final roles in movies, prior to retiring from acting, were in the 1984 drama “The Return of Marcus Welby, M. D.”, the 1987 drama “Sisters”, and the 1993 comedy “Dorf Goes Fishing”.

Roles in TV series

Yvonne made her debut TV series appearance in the 1962 episode “Hysteresis Synchronous Can Be Fun” of the comedy “Hennessey”, and appeared in an episode or two of various series in the remainder of the ‘60s, such as the drama “CBS Repertoire Workshop”, the comedy “Hey, Landlord”, and the 1969 drama “Bracken’s World”.

In 1971 and 1972, she played Waitress Sheila in four episodes of the musical comedy “The Partridge Family”, created by Bernard Slade, and which starred Shirley Jones, David Cassidy and Susan Dey. It follows the lives of a family of pop musicians; the series aired from 1970 to 1974 and won two of the 12 awards for which it was nominated.

Wishing a belated Happy Birthday September 21 🎂 to Yvonne Wilder who played Irene Katsopolis “Jesse’s Mother in Seasons 2-4 of Full House.#fullhouse #yvonnewilder #happybirthday #irenekatsopolis

Posted by Punky Power: An UnOfficial Punky Brewster Podcast on Sunday, October 4, 2020

Yvonne also attracted a lot of attention with her portrayal of Major Edna Howard, one of the main characters in 23 episodes of the 1979 war comedy “Operation Petticoat”; it also starred Melinda Naud and Jim Varney, and follows a group of nurses who’ve just begun working on a US submarine.

Three of her final roles in TV series were in two episodes of the 1988 comedy “227”, the 1989 episode “The Sins of Our Fathers” of the action crime drama “The Equalizer”, and seven episodes of the family comedy drama “Full House” between 1988 and 1991.

Other credits

Yvonne wrote the 1971 horror movie “The Return of Count Yorga”.

She sang various songs in three movies: the 1961 “West Side Story”, the 1971 “The Return of Count Yorga”, and the 1979 “Es Begann bei Tiffany”.

Yvonne made a guest appearance in a couple of talk-shows, including “The Hollywood Palace”, “The Mike Douglas Show”, and “The Everly Brothers Show”.

Love life and husband

Yvonne preferred to keep the details of her love life to herself, and while it’s known that she was married five times, nothing is known about her first, second and fourth husbands.

Her third husband was non-celebrity American Robert ‘Bob Kelljan’ Kelluchian – the date of their wedding remains unknown, although it’s believed that they exchanged vows sometime in the first half of the ’60s, but were together for less than 10 years.

Yvonne also didn’t share the date of her wedding to her fifth husband Zach Kleiman, but it’s known that they were together until she passed away.

She had a son Chris, although the name of Chris’ father hasn’t been disclosed; she also had two grandchildren.

Hobbies and other interests

After she retired from acting, Yvonne turned to sculpting and painting, and some of her works could’ve been seen exhibited at the Santa Monica Art Institute.

She liked to travel while she was still active in the film industry – her career took her to many US states, as well as to several European countries, including Italy, England and Spain.

Yvonne was a huge lover of animals, and had many pet dogs and cats.

She was a philanthropist, and donated part of her fortune to charity, mostly to organizations which aimed to help underprivileged children.

Yvonne had her own favorite actor and actress, Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood, while a couple of her favorite movies were “The Bridges of Madison County”, “Gran Torino”, and “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”.

Death, height and net worth

Yvonne was 84 when she passed away peacefully at her home in Los Angeles, on 24 November 2021. She had medium long curly brown hair and brown eyes, her height was 5ft 6ins (1.68m) and she weighed around 128lbs (58kgs).

Her net worth, at the time of her death, was estimated at over $700,000.

Write A Comment

Pin It