William Wyler

From Academic Kids

William Wyler (July 1, 1902 - July 27, 1981) was a prolific and award-winning motion picture director. He was known to require tens of takes for every shot in his films, and for demanding control over the story, location, and crew of each production, yet his exacting nature and attention to detail paid off in the form of both popular and critical success.

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Career

Wyler was born in Mulhouse, France, the nephew of Carl Laemmle, founder of Universal Pictures. His family connections served him well, as he became the youngest director on the Universal lot in 1925. He soon proved himself an able craftsman, and in the early 1930s became one of Universal's greatest assets, directing such solid films as The Love Trap, Hell's Heroes, and Tom Brown of Culver.

He later signed with Samuel Goldwyn and directed such quality films as These Three, Come and Get It, Dodsworth, Dead End, Jezebel, Wuthering Heights, The Letter, The Westerner, and The Little Foxes.

Between 1942 and 1945, Wyler served as a major in the U.S. Army Air Corps and directed a pair of documentaries, The Memphis Belle and the Academy Award winning The Fighting Lady. He also directed two key films which first captured the mood of the nation as it prepared for battle and, four years later, peace. Mrs. Miniver (1942), a story of a middle class English family adjusting to the war in Europe, helped condition American audiences to life in wartime (and galvanized support for the British). The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), the story of three veterans arriving home and adjusting to civilian life, dramatized the problems of returning veterans for those who had remained on the homefront. Wyler won Best Director Oscars for both films (which also won Best Picture Oscars).

During the 1950s and 1960s Wyler directed a handful of critically acclaimed and influential films, most notably Roman Holiday (1954) for introducing Audrey Hepburn to American audiences and leading to her first Oscar, and Ben Hur (1959) for its eleven Oscar wins, matched only twice by Titanic in 1997 and Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2003.

In 1965, Wyler won the Irving Thalberg 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, ten of Wyler's films earned Best Picture nominations and he won nine Best Director nominations, while three dozen of his actors won Oscars or nominations.

Upon his death in 1981, Wyler was interred at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

Academy Awards and nominations

Filmography (as a director)

External links

fr:William Wyler es:William Wyler sv:William Wyler

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