R.I.P. Gene Wilder, 1933-2016.
For his classic "baby blankie" shtick in The Producers, Wilder "recalled his childhood dog Julie and 'rubbing my cheek against her curly fur.' He felt actual fury when Zero Mostel grabbed the little cloth, but love returned in force. Wilder also felt that Mostel 'looked after me as if I were a baby sparrow." (From the Zero Mostel/The Producers chapter of my book Starlight Rising: Acting Up in Movies, available from Amazon, Nook and Kindle.)
The recently heaven-bound Gene Wilder (center), with Zero Mostel and Christopher Hewett in The Producers (Avco Embassy Pictures, 1968; director Mel Brooks, cinematographer Joseph E. Coffey).