Billy Wilder

Billy Wilder (22 June 1906 – 27 March 2002) was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood's golden age. Wilder is one of only five people to have won Academy Awards as producer, director, and writer for the same film (The Apartment).

Wilder became a screenwriter in the late 1920s while living in Berlin. After the rise of the Nazi Party, Wilder, who was Jewish, left for Paris, where he made his directorial debut. He relocated to Hollywood in 1933, and in 1939 he had a hit when he co-wrote the screenplay to the screwball comedy Ninotchka. Wilder established his directorial reputation after helming Double Indemnity (1944), a film noir he co-wrote with mystery novelist Raymond Chandler. Wilder earned the Best Director and Best Screenplay Academy Awards for the adaptation of a Charles R. Jackson story The Lost Weekend, about alcoholism. In 1950, Wilder co-wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Sunset Boulevard.

From the mid-1950s on, Wilder made mostly comedies. Among the classics Wilder created in this period are the farces The Seven Year Itch (1955) and Some Like It Hot (1959), satires such as The Apartment (1960), and the drama comedy Sabrina (1954). He directed fourteen different actors in Oscar-nominated performances. Wilder was recognized with the American Film Institute (AFI) Life Achievement Award in 1986. In 1988, Wilder was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. In 1993, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. Wilder has attained a significant place in the history of Hollywood censorship for his role in expanding the range of acceptable subject matter.

Read more about Billy Wilder:  Death, Awards, Academy Award Nominations, Trivia

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Famous quotes by billy wilder:

    Don: I’m not going near that country club.
    Wick: Why not?
    Don: They’re all a bunch of hypocrites. I don’t like to be whispered about—’Look who’s here from New York, the Birnam brothers. Or rather the nurse and the invalid.’
    Billy Wilder (b. 1906)

    Don: You don’t approve of drinking?
    Nat: Not the way you drink.
    Billy Wilder (b. 1906)

    I had one life. And what did I do? Wasted it in some palooka preliminaries in Spain, just before Hitler and Chamberlain warm up for the main event.
    Billy Wilder (b. 1906)

    Augusta: You have an ant strolling up your cheek.
    Tom: I wish it were your lips. [She kisses him] Such a little kiss.
    Augusta: Such a little ant.
    Tom: Wish it had been an elephant.
    Billy Wilder (b. 1906)

    The forest of Compiegne. Look at it. Like a kind grandmother dozing in her rocking chair. Old trees practicing curtsies in the wind because they still think Louis XIV is king.
    Billy Wilder (b. 1906)