William A. Wellman

William A. Wellman

Born Feb 29, 1896

William Augustus Wellman was an American film director. Although Wellman began his film career as an actor, he worked on over 80 films, as director, producer and consultant but most often as a director, notable for his work in crime, adventure and action genre films, often focusing on aviation themes, a particular passion. He also directed several well regarded satirical comedies.… Read More

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1896 Birth Born on February 29, 1896.


1917 21 Years Old In World War I Wellman enlisted in the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps as an ambulance driver. While in Paris, Wellman joined the French Foreign Legion and was assigned on December 3, 1917 as a fighter pilot and the first American to join N.87 escadrille in the Lafayette Flying Corps (not the sub-unit Lafayette Escadrille as usually stated), where he earned himself the nickname "Wild Bill" and received the Croix de Guerre with two palms. N.87, les Chats Noir (Black Cat Group) was stationed at Lunéville in the Alsace-Lorraine sector and was equipped with Nieuport 17 and later Nieuport 24 "pursuit" aircraft.
1918 22 Years Old 1 More Event
Wellman's combat experience culminated in three recorded "kills", along with five probables, although he was ultimately shot down by German anti-aircraft fire on March 21, 1918. … Read More
1920 24 Years Old Wellman made his uncredited directorial debut in 1920 at Fox with The Twins of Suffering Creek.
1923 27 Years Old The first films he was credited with directing were The Man Who Won and Second Hand Love, released on the same day in 1923.


1927 31 Years Old 1 More Event
…  Wellman directed the 1927 film Wings, which became the first film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture at the 1st Academy Awards ceremony. … Read More


1936 40 Years Old He wrote the screenplay for two other films that he directed, and one film that he did not direct, 1936's The Last Gangster. … Read More


1952 56 Years Old Regarding actors, Wellman stated in a 1952 interview, "Movie stardom isn't about acting ability - it's personality and temperament," and added, "I once directed Clara Bow. … Read More


1973 77 Years Old Several filmmakers have examined Wellman's career. Richard Schickel devoted an episode of his PBS series The Men Who Made the Movies to Wellman in 1973, and in 1996, Todd Robinson made the feature-length documentary Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick. … Read More
1975 80 Years Old William Wellman died in 1975 of leukemia. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_A._Wellman.
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