A feature-length documentary about Gilda Radner, an original cast member of Saturday Night Live who was beloved for her oddball characters, will open this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, organisers announced on Tuesday.
The film, titled Love, Gilda, features interviews with Saturday Night Live stars over the years, including Chevy Chase, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Cecily Strong. Lorne Michaels, the show’s creator, was also interviewed for the documentary. Directed by Lisa D’Apolito, the movie is stitched together with many of Radner’s own words, from audio tapes, diary entries and home videos.
Radner rose to prominence as one of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players on Saturday Night Live from 1975 to 1980. She became best known for characters like Roseanne Roseannadanna — the rambling, frequently off-topic Weekend Update contributor who would answer questions from Richard Feder of Fort Lee, New Jersey — and her impressions of Baba Wawa, er Barbara Walters. The Baba Wawa bit irritated Walters at the time, although she would later see the humour in it and would even appear on the show to poke fun at herself when she retired. In 1978, Radner won an Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a variety series.
Radner died of cancer at the age of 42 in 1989, with her husband, Gene Wilder, by her side. She documented her fight with ovarian cancer in her autobiography, It’s Always Something, a catchphrase of Roseanne Roseannadanna.
The documentary will have its premiere on April 18 at the Beacon Theater; the festival runs until April 29.