Billy Wilder Bio and Personal Life

Billy Wilder Bio

Billy Wilder – a well-known Austrian-American film director and screenwriter – had a brilliant career spanning five decades. He is known as one of the most versatile and brilliant directors of the Golden Age of cinema in the house of the stars.

While living in Berlin in the late 1920s, he began writing screenplays. He left Germor Paris in 1933, after the rise of the Nazi party. When he got there, he made his directorial debut. That same year he left for the house of the stars and then never looked back.


Samuel Wilder was born on June 22, 1906 in a Polish Jewish home in part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His older brother was also a producer, director and screenwriter. His parents owned a well-known and successful cake shop in Sucha and tried to persuade Billy to join the family business, but were unsuccessful.

The family moved to where Billy went to school and later into journalism instead of going to the University of Vienna. In early 1926, Paul Whitman interviewed him and took Wilder with the band on a tour where entertainment connections grew for him.

After writing various crime and sports stories for a local newspaper, he got a regular job on a tabloid. As he was interested in movies, he started as a writer.

He collaborated with other beginners, such as Robert Siodmak and Fred Zinnemann on the 1929 feature People on Sunday. He also wrote the modern screenplay for Emil and the detectives in 1931. In 1932, he collaborated with Felix Salten on the screenplay for the film Scampolo, which brought him a lot of money and public admiration for him.

In Paris, he made his directorial debut with the film Mauvaise Graine. Before the release of the film, he had moved into the house of the stars. His family – mother, father and grandfather – were all victims of the Holocaust.

The house of the stars and its movies

Wilder arrived at the House of Stars in 1933. He continued to work as a screenwriter. He became a citizen of the United States in 1939. He spent some time in Mexico after his visa expired in 1934. His first huge success was Ninotka in 1939, a film that was a collaboration with a foreign German immigrant.

This film took his profession in a whole new direction. It was the film that earned him his first Oscar nomination, which he shared with Charles Brackett, a co-author. After Nintochka, he continued with a series of box office hits, such as the movie Hold back the dawn, Ball of fireand his directorial debut, The Major and the Minor.

Double Indemnity was his third feature film as a director and it was a huge success. The film was nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay. He co-authored it with Raymond Chandler, a mystery novelist. The film set contracts for the noir genre – such as voice narration and Venice lighting – as well as a milestone in breaking the censorship of Home of the stars. Even though the book was very popular, it was considered non-flammable under the Hays Code, as adultery was central to the film’s plot.

In 1945, during the liberation of the concentration camps, the US Department of War’s Psychological Warfare Department produced a motion picture film directed by Wilder. The documentary was intended for the public to tell them about the atrocities committed under the Nazi regime.

A few years later, Wilder won Best Director and Best Screenplay at the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his adaptation of a R. Jackson story – The Lost Weekend. It was the first US film to address the serious issue of alcoholism, which was difficult to make due to the production code.

Wilder co-wrote the cynical and dark Sunset Avenue in 1950, in which Gloria Swanson mated with William Holden. In the 1950s, he directed two film adaptations of Broadway works – Stalag Prisoner of War and Witness to Persecution. From the mid-1950s onwards, Wilder began working on films and Wilder classics such as The Apartment, The Prohibition Joke, Some Like It Hot, and Sabrina’s popular romantic comedy, Irma la douce. , produced in this period.

After winning three American Film Institutes, his career slowed.

Personal life

He married Judith Coppicus on the 22ndNo December 1936. They had twins in 1939 – Victoria and Vincent – but Vincent died shortly after birth. They divorced in 1946. During the filming, Wilder he met Audrey Young and married her in 1949.

They remained married until his death. In 2002, he died of pneumonia at his home in Beverly Hills. There was a battle with many health issues that included cancer. He was buried in Los Angeles near Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon. Marilyn Monroe is also buried in the same cemetery.


He received 21 Academy Awards nominations and won six of them. It also won the BAFTA Award for Best Picture. In addition, the Grand Prix du Festival International was also awarded at the Cannes Film Festival. In addition, Wilder won the Kennedy Center Honors Award as well as the National Medal of Arts.

He also received eight Guild of America nominations for his work. He also won lifelong accolades, including the prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, the David O. Selznick Achievement Award, and more.

He was a great director and would always be a respected part of Hollywood fame. He usually played against a guy, which shows his directing ability.


This article was written by Amelia, a professional reviewer and screenwriter author of He has worked in numerous media agencies, as well as on tabloids, in addition to writing some co-produced books. Now, it offers top teaching in screenwriting and editing.

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