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

Famous quotes by billy wilder:

    I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.
    Billy Wilder (b. 1906)

    Walter Neff: I’m crazy about you, baby.
    Phyllis Dietrichson: I’m crazy about you, Walter.
    Walter Neff: That perfume on your hair, what’s the name of it?
    Phyllis Dietrichson: I don’t know. I bought it in Ensenada.
    Billy Wilder (b. 1906)

    Tom: All right, boys. C’mon. Why don’t you say I’m a yellow belly and a big mouth at that?
    Shep: You yellow? Who thinks you’re yellow? Did you hear what he said? A guy who’s got the nerve to marry? That’s more than Flash Gordon ever did.
    Billy Wilder (b. 1906)

    Tom, remember your prayer. This time we have to say it to America. Arise my love. Arise, be strong, so you can stand up straight and say to anyone under God’s heaven, ‘Alright, whose way of life shall it be, yours or ours?’
    Billy Wilder (b. 1906)

    An audience is never wrong. An individual member of it may be an imbecile, but a thousand imbeciles together in the dark—that is critical genius.
    Billy Wilder (b. 1906)