Billy Wilder

Austrian-born + Jewish-american Journalist + Screenwriter + Film Director + Producer
Born Jun 22, 1906

Billy Wilder was an Austro-Hungarian 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 who have won Academy Awards as producer, director, and writer for the same film. Wilder became a screenwriter in the late 1920s while living in Berlin.… Read More

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1906 Birth Born on June 22, 1906.


1931 25 Years Old He wrote the screenplay for the 1931 film adaptation of a novel by Erich Kästner, Emil and the Detectives.
1933 27 Years Old After arriving in Hollywood in 1933, Wilder continued his career as a screenwriter.
1934 28 Years Old 1 More Event
After the rise of Adolf Hitler, Wilder, Jewish, left for Paris, where he made his directorial debut with the 1934 film Mauvaise Graine. … Read More


1936 30 Years Old Wilder married Judith Coppicus on December 22, 1936. The couple had twins, Victoria and Vincent (born 1939), but Vincent died shortly after birth. They divorced in 1946. … Read More
1938 32 Years Old For twelve years Wilder co-wrote many of his films with Brackett, from 1938 through 1950.
1942 36 Years Old He followed Ninotchka with a series of box office hits in 1942, including his Hold Back the Dawn and Ball of Fire, as well as his directorial feature debut, The Major and the Minor. … Read More


1950 44 Years Old …  In 1950, Wilder co-wrote and directed the dark and cynical Sunset Blvd., which paired rising star William Holden with Gloria Swanson. … Read More
1951 45 Years Old In 1951, Wilder followed Sunset Blvd. with Ace in the Hole (a.k.a. … Read More


1959 53 Years Old In 1959, United Artists released Wilder's Prohibition-era farce Some Like It Hot without a Production Code seal of approval, withheld due to the film's unabashed sexual comedy, including a central cross-dressing theme. … Read More
1960 54 Years Old After winning three Academy Awards for 1960's The Apartment (for Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay), Wilder's career slowed. … Read More


1970 64 Years Old His 1970 film The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes was intended as a major roadshow release, but was heavily cut by the studio and has never been fully restored. … Read More
1986 80 Years Old Wilder was recognized with the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1986.
1988 82 Years Old In 1988, Wilder was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.
In 1993, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. … Read More
1997 91 Years Old Wilder's 12 Academy Award nominations for screenwriting were a record until 1997 when Woody Allen received a 13th nomination for Deconstructing Harry. … Read More
2000 94 Years Old But its critical reputation grew prodigiously; in 2000, the American Film Institute selected it as the best American comedy ever made. … Read More
2002 96 Years Old Wilder died in 2002 of pneumonia at the age of 95 after battling health problems, including cancer, in Los Angeles and was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, Los Angeles near Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. … Read More
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