Billy Wilder

Austrian-American filmmaker (1906–2002) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Billy Wilder (/ˈwldər/; German: [ˈvɪldɐ]; born Samuel Wilder; June 22, 1906 – March 27, 2002) was an Austrian-born filmmaker and screenwriter. His career in Hollywood spanned five decades, and he is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Classic Hollywood cinema. He received seven Academy Awards (among 21 nominations), a BAFTA Award, the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or and two Golden Globe Awards.

Quick facts: Billy Wilder, Born, Died, Occupations, Years&...
Billy Wilder
Billy_Wilder.jpg
Wilder, c.1942
Born
Samuel Wilder

(1906-06-22)June 22, 1906
DiedMarch 27, 2002(2002-03-27) (aged 95)
Occupations
  • Film director
  • screenwriter
  • producer
Years active1929–1981
WorksFull list
Spouses
Judith Coppicus
(m. 1936; div. 1946)
(m. 1949)
Children2
RelativesW. Lee Wilder (brother)
Myles Wilder (nephew)
Patrick Curtis (nephew)
AwardsFull list
Close

Wilder became a screenwriter while living in Berlin. The rise of the Nazi Party and antisemitism in Germany saw him move to Paris. He then moved to Hollywood in 1934, and had a major hit when he, Charles Brackett and Walter Reisch wrote the screenplay for the Academy Award-nominated film Ninotchka (1939). Wilder established his directorial reputation and received his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Director with the film noir Double Indemnity (1944), based on the novel by James M Cain with a screenplay by Wilder and Raymond Chandler. Wilder won the Best Director and Best Screenplay Academy Awards for The Lost Weekend (1945), which also won the Academy Award for Best Picture.[1]

In the 1950s, Wilder directed and co-wrote a string of critically acclaimed films, including the Hollywood drama Sunset Boulevard (1950), for which he won his second screenplay Academy Award; Ace in the Hole (1951), Stalag 17 (1953) and Sabrina (1954).[2] Wilder directed and co-wrote three films in 1957: The Spirit of St. Louis, Love in the Afternoon and Witness for the Prosecution. During this period, Wilder also directed Marilyn Monroe in two films, The Seven Year Itch (1955) and Some Like It Hot (1959).[3] In 1960, Wilder co-wrote, directed and produced the critically acclaimed film The Apartment. It won Wilder Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.[4] Other notable films Wilder directed include One, Two, Three (1961), Irma la Douce (1963), Kiss Me, Stupid (1964), The Fortune Cookie (1966) and Avanti! (1972).

Wilder received various honors for his distinguished career including the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1986, the Kennedy Center Honors in 1990, the National Medal of Arts in 1993 and the BAFTA Fellowship Award in 1995. He also received the Directors Guild of America's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement and the Producers Guild of America's Lifetime Achievement Award.[5] Seven of his films are preserved in the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant".

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