William Wyler
Oscar-winning motion picture director
William Wyler
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.
Biography
William Wyler's personal information overview.
{{personal_detail.supertitle}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
Photo Albums
Popular photos of William Wyler
News
News abour William Wyler from around the web
VLAFF offering a cinematic feast - North Shore News
Google News - over 5 years
Other films shot in Durango include William Wyler's epic Ben-Hur (1959), Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), Henry Hathaway's True Grit (1969 starring John Wayne) and the Coen Brothers' remake (2010), George Lucas' first Star Wars
Article Link:
Google News article
Timeless Reels: Classic Films on DVD | Collection Development, September 1, 2011 - Library Journal
Google News - over 5 years
Dir: William Wyler. Warner Home Video, www.warnerbros.com. 1959. DVD ISBN 9780780673465. $20.97 ($15.64). Nominated for a total of 12 Oscars, it won 11—the most ever for a single movie until Titanic (1997) tied it. With the famous chariot race between
Article Link:
Google News article
Venice Film Festival Goes Back to the Future
NYTimes - over 5 years
VENICE -- At least two of the top billings at the Venice Film Festival this year are calculated to scare the living daylights out of us: Abel Ferrara's in-competition ''4:44 Last Day on Earth'' and Steven Soderbergh's out-of-competition ''Contagion'' promise to give us a glimpse of the end-of-the-world lurking just around the corner. The major
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Anne Francis Movie Schedule: BRAINSTORM, IMPASSE, A LION IS IN THE STREETS - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Dir: William Wyler. Cast: Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Kay Medford. C-157 mins, Letterbox Format. 8:00 PM BLACKBOARD JUNGLE (1955) An idealistic teacher confronts the realities of juvenile delinquency. Dir: Richard Brooks
Article Link:
Google News article
Jack Lietzke dies at 78 - Variety
Google News - over 5 years
He worked with such notables as Walt Disney, Jack Warner and William Wyler. After his retirement in 1998, he continued overseeing the operations of his motion picture rental company, Jack Lietzke Studio Rentals, in Sun Valley, Calif
Article Link:
Google News article
The Irish Times - Friday, August 26, 2011 - Irish Times
Google News - over 5 years
You have to go back to Hollywood masters such as George Cukor and William Wyler to uncover a film-maker who has created so many fleshy, nuanced female characters. It is, therefore, not altogether surprising that Elena Anaya blew a fuse when the great
Article Link:
Google News article
The 100 Essential Directors Part 7: Kenji Mizoguchi to Satyajit Ray - PopMatters
Google News - over 5 years
Influenced by William Wyler and Josef von Sternberg, his films offer fluid, lyric imagery while earnestly relating human hardships. Mizoguchi first gained renown in the 1930s for sensitively chronicling the lives of working-class women in films like
Article Link:
Google News article
Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights: do we need new film versions? - The Guardian
Google News - over 5 years
William Wyler's 1939 Wuthering Heights now looks genteel, even insipid. Olivier's Heathcliff is a soppy lover, not a vulpine brute, and Merle Oberon's Cathy behaves petulantly when she ought to seem demented. Although a dusty Californian ranch stands
Article Link:
Google News article
Morning Call Sheet: Technology Killed the Drama Star, 'Cube,' Hitchcock Cameos ... - Big Hollywood
Google News - over 5 years
Dir: William Wyler Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, James Garner. BW-108 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format Probably the best film ever produced about the destructive power of a lie. The climax is especially poignant thanks to William Wyler's
Article Link:
Google News article
The Great Hiroshima Cover-Up—And the Greatest Movie Never Made - Japan Focus
Google News - over 5 years
In early September, 1945, less than a month after the two bombs fell, Lt. McGovern -- who as a member of Hollywood's famed First Motion Picture Unit shot some of the footage for William Wyler's "Memphis Belle" -- had become one of the first Americans
Article Link:
Google News article
10 Black & White Movies for People Who Won't Watch Black & White Movies - Huffington Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Thanks to William Wyler's expert, understated direction, each of the three characters that make up this remarkably sensitive, perceptive picture is subtly drawn, evoking the complex challenges that confronted returning veterans of all ranks
Article Link:
Google News article
Good Morning! - KWTX
Google News - over 5 years
Movie director William Wyler ("Ben-Hur") died in Los Angeles at age 79. A judge in West Palm Beach, Fla., sentenced 14-year-old Nathaniel Brazill to 28 years in prison for second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of teacher Barry Grunow at Lake Worth
Article Link:
Google News article
Mimi Leder Enlists For All Quiet On The Western Front Remake - Cinema Blend
Google News - over 5 years
The theme was covered brilliantly back in William Wyler's 1946 drama The Best Years of Our Lives, though contemporary storytellers Kimberly Peirce, Neil Burger and Kathryn Bigelow have touched on the issue in their own films Stop-Loss, The Lucky Ones
Article Link:
Google News article
TOP 7 Heroic American Soldiers on Film - Scorecard Review
Google News - over 5 years
Russell wasn'ta professional actor, he was an army veteran attending Boston University when William Wyler cast him in the film. Despite that, he won two Academy Awards, one for Best Supporting Actor and an honorary Oscar for “bringing hope and courage
Article Link:
Google News article
A Tragic Actress's Twilight, Burning, Not Dimming - New York Times
Google News - over 5 years
Long overshadowed by William Wyler's 1940 remake starring Bette Davis, the first filming, from 1929, of W. Somerset Maugham's stage play “The Letter” has re-emerged, thanks to a new DVD edition from Warner Archive. As the only surviving sound film of
Article Link:
Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of William Wyler
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1981
    Age 78
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Three days later, he died from a heart attack. He is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, near his older brother, Robert Wyler, sister-in-law, actress Cathy O'Donnell and his son, William "Billy" Wyler, Jr in Glendale, California.
  • 1968
    Age 65
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Audrey Hepburn won an Oscar in her debut performance in Roman Holiday. Fourteen actors won Oscars under Wyler's direction. In 1941, Wyler directed Mrs. Miniver, a story of a middle class English family adjusting to the war in Europe. Mrs. Miniver won Wyler his first Academy Award for Best Director, as well as another five Oscars. A perfectionist, Wyler earned the nickname "90-take Wyler". On the set of Jezebel, Wyler forced Henry Fonda through 40 takes of one particular scene, his only guidance being "Again!" after each take. When Fonda asked for more direction, Wyler responded, "It stinks." Similarly, when Charlton Heston quizzed the director about the supposed shortcomings of his performance in Ben-Hur, Wyler simply told Heston "Be better!" Between 1942 and 1945, Wyler, who became a United States citizen in 1928, served as a major in the United States Army Air Forces and directed a pair of documentaries: The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (1944), the story of a Boeing B-17 and its U.S. Army Air Force crew; and Thunderbolt! (1947), with Lester Koenig and John Sturges, highlighting a P-47 fighter-bomber squadron in the Mediterranean. Wyler filmed The Memphis Belle at great personal risk, flying over enemy territory on actual bombing missions in 1943; on one flight, Wyler passed out from lack of oxygen. Wyler's associate, cinematographer Harold J. Tannenbaum, was shot down and perished during the filming.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1959
    Age 56
    In 1959, Wyler directed Ben-Hur, which won 11 Oscars (a feat equalled only by Titanic in 1997 and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2003).
    More Details Hide Details Wyler won his third Academy Award for Best Director for Ben-Hur. Wyler's films garnered more awards for participating artists and actors than any other director's in the history of Hollywood. He received 12 Oscar nominations for Best Director in total, while dozens of his collaborators and actors won Oscars or were nominated. In 1965, Wyler won the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for career achievement. Eleven years later, he received the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award. In addition to his Best Picture and Best Director Oscar wins, 13 of Wyler's films earned Best Picture nominations. Other late Wyler films include The Children's Hour, The Collector, Funny Girl, and his final film, The Liberation of L.B. Jones.
    Charlton Heston won his only nomination and Best Actor Oscar for his work in Wyler's 1959 Ben-Hur.
    More Details Hide Details
  • FORTIES
  • 1949
    Age 46
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Roman Holiday (1953) introduced Audrey Hepburn to American audiences and led to Oscars for Best Actress (Hepburn), Costume Design (Edith Head), and Best Writing (Dalton Trumbo). Friendly Persuasion (1956) was awarded the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at the Cannes Film Festival.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1938
    Age 35
    Wyler was briefly married to actress Margaret Sullivan (from November 25, 1934 – March 13, 1936) and married actress Margaret "Talli" Tallichet on October 23, 1938.
    More Details Hide Details The couple remained together until his death; they had five children: Catherine, Judith, William Jr., Melanie and David. Wyler is the most nominated director in Academy Awards history with 12 nominations. He won the Academy Award for Best Direction on three occasions, for his direction of Ben-Hur, The Best Years of Our Lives, and Mrs. Miniver. He is tied with Frank Capra and behind John Ford, who won four Oscars in this category. Wyler also has the distinction of having directed more actors to Oscar-nominated performances than any other director in history: thirty-six. Out of these nominees, fourteen went on to win Oscars. William Wyler received the fourth AFI Life Achievement Award in 1976. For his contributions to the motion picture industry, on February 8, 1960, Wyler has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1731 Vine Street.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1936
    Age 33
    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."
    More Details Hide Details Film historian Ian Freer calls Wyler a "bona fide perfectionist", whose penchant for retakes and an attempt to hone every last nuance, "became the stuff of legend." His ability to direct a string of classic literary adaptations into huge box-office and critical successes made him one of "Hollywood's most bankable moviemakers" during the 1930s and 1940s and into the 60's. Other popular Wyler films include: Hell's Heroes (1930), Dodsworth (1936), Jezebel (1938), Wuthering Heights (1939), The Westerner (1940), The Letter (1940), The Heiress (1949), Roman Holiday (1953), Friendly Persuasion (1956), The Big Country (1958), The Children's Hour (1961), How to Steal a Million (1966), and Funny Girl (1968). Wyler was born to a Jewish family in Mulhouse, Alsace (then part of the German Empire). His Swiss father, Leopold, started as a traveling salesman which he later turned into a thriving haberdashery business in Mulhouse. His mother, Melanie (née Auerbach; died February 13, 1955, Los Angeles, aged 77), was German, and a cousin of Carl Laemmle, founder of Universal Pictures. During Wyler's childhood, he attended a number of schools and developed a reputation as "something of a hellraiser", being expelled more than once for misbehavior. His mother often took him and his older brother Robert to concerts, opera, and the theatre, as well as the early cinema.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1928
    Age 25
    He directed his first non-Western, the lost Anybody Here Seen Kelly?, in 1928.
    More Details Hide Details This was followed by his first part-talkie films, The Shakedown and The Love Trap. He proved himself an able craftsman, and in the early 1930s began directing such films as Hell's Heroes, Tom Brown of Culver, and The Good Fairy. He became well known for his insistence on multiple retakes, resulting in often award-winning and critically acclaimed performances from his actors. After leaving Universal he began a long collaboration with Samuel Goldwyn for whom he directed such classics as Dodsworth (1936), These Three (1936), Dead End (1937), Wuthering Heights (1939), The Westerner (1940), The Little Foxes (1941) and The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). Laurence Olivier, whom Wyler directed in Wuthering Heights for his first-ever Oscar nomination, credited Wyler with teaching him how to act for the screen, despite clashing with Wyler on multiple occasions. Olivier would go on to hold the record for the most nominations in the Best Actor category at nine, tied with Spencer Tracy. In 1950, Wyler and Olivier made a second film together, Carrie, which was not a commercial success.
    In 1928, he became a naturalized United States citizen.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1925
    Age 22
    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.
    More Details Hide Details
  • TEENAGE
  • 1921
    Age 18
    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.
    More Details Hide Details As Wyler said: "America seemed as far away as the moon." Booked onto a ship to New York with Laemmle upon his return voyage, he met a young Czech man, Paul Kohner (later the famous independent agent), aboard the same ship. Their enjoyment of the first class trip was short-lived as they found they had to pay back the cost of the passage out of their $25 weekly income as messengers to Universal Pictures. After working in New York for several years, and even serving in the New York Army National Guard for a year, Wyler decided that he wanted to go to Hollywood to become a director. Around 1923, Wyler arrived in Los Angeles and began work on the Universal Studios lot in the swing gang, cleaning the stages and moving the sets. His break came when he was hired as a second assistant editor. His work ethic was uneven with Irving Thalberg nicknaming him "Worthless Willy." After some ups and downs (including getting fired), he focused on becoming a director.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1902
    Born
    Born on July 1, 1902.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
All data offered is derived from public sources. Spokeo does not verify or evaluate each piece of data, and makes no warranties or guarantees about any of the information offered. Spokeo does not possess or have access to secure or private financial information. Spokeo is not a consumer reporting agency and does not offer consumer reports. None of the information offered by Spokeo is to be considered for purposes of determining any entity or person's eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing, or for any other purposes covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)