William Wyler

Oscar-winning Motion Picture Director
Born Jul 1, 1902

William Wyler was a leading Alsatian-born American motion picture director, producer, and screenwriter who made his mark in Hollywood as one of film industry's icons. Notable works included Ben-Hur (1959), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), and Mrs. Miniver (1942), all of which won Wyler Academy Awards for Best Director, and also won Best Picture.… Read More

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1902 Birth Born on July 1, 1902.


1921 19 Years Old In 1921, Wyler, while traveling as a Swiss citizen (his father's status automatically conferred Swiss citizenship to his sons), met Laemmle who hired him to work at Universal Studios in New York. … Read More


1925 23 Years Old He started as a third assistant director and by 1925 he became the youngest director on the Universal lot directing the westerns that Universal was famed for turning out.
1928 26 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1928, he became a naturalized United States citizen.


1936 34 Years Old …  Wyler received his first Oscar nomination for directing Dodsworth in 1936, starring Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton and Mary Astor, "sparking a 20-year run of almost unbroken greatness." … Read More
1938 36 Years Old 1 More Event
Bette Davis received three Oscar nominations for her screen work under Wyler, and won her second Oscar for her performance in Wyler's 1938 film Jezebel.


1949 47 Years Old During the immediate postwar period, Wyler directed a handful of critically acclaimed and influential films. In 1949, he directed The Heiress, which earned Olivia de Havilland her second Oscar and garnered additional Oscars for Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, and Best Music. … Read More


1959 57 Years Old 1 More Event
Charlton Heston won his only nomination and Best Actor Oscar for his work in Wyler's 1959 Ben-Hur.


1968 66 Years Old Barbra Streisand won 1968's Best Actress Oscar (as did Katharine Hepburn for The Lion in Winter, in the only tie in Oscar history for this category) as entertainer Fanny Brice in Streisand's debut film, Funny Girl. … Read More
1981 79 Years Old 1 More Event
On July 24, 1981, Wyler gave an interview with his daughter, Catherine, for Directed by William Wyler, a PBS documentary about his life and career. … Read More
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