Wyler, William, 1902-1981

Alternative names
Birth 1902-07-01
Death 1981-07-27

Biographical notes:

Moving-picture director; interviewee d. 1981.

From the description of Reminiscences of William J. Wyler : oral history, 1971. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122569553

Willy Wyler was born July 1, 1902 in Mulhouse Alsace-Lorraine; he traveled to America at the invitation of cousin Carl Laemmle, 1920, and became a US citizen, 1928; worked in the publicity dept. at Universal, NY and transferred to Universal City, Hollywood, 1921, where he apprenticed many jobs; he was asst. director at Universal, 1924 and directed his first film, Crook buster, 1925, and his first feature, Lazy lightning, 1926; during his first two years as a director he made more than 40 two-reel westerns; began his association with Samuel Goldwyn in 1936; the making of These three (1936) marked his first collaboration with cameraman Gregg Toland, who worked in many of Wyler's films; he served as a Major in US Army Air Corps, 1942-45 and later helped found the Committee for the First Amendment to counteract the Hollywood investigation by House Un-American Activities Committee, 1947; with numerous directorial credits, he retired from directing in 1973; awards include Academy Award best direction for Mrs. Miniver (1942), The best years of our lives (1946), and Ben Hur (1959), the Irving G. Thalberg award (1965), and the American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement award (1976); died July 29, 1981.

From the description of Papers, 1925-1975. (University of California, Los Angeles). WorldCat record id: 39846061


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  • Motion pictures--Production and direction
  • Motion picture producers and directors--Interviews
  • Actresses
  • Motion picture producers and directors--Archival resources


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