name = William Wyler
caption = Wyler with Oscar
birthname = Willi Wyler
birthdate = birth date|1902|7|1|mf=y
Mülhausen, Alsace, Germany(now Mulhouse, Haut-Rhin, France)
deathdate =Death date and age|1981|7|27|1902|7|1
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Margaret Tallichet (1938-1981)
notable role =
academyawards = Best Director
1942 "Mrs. Miniver"
The Best Years of Our Lives"
Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award(1965)
baftaawards = Best Film from any Source
goldenglobeawards = Best Director - Motion Picture
awards = Golden Palm -
Cannes Film Festival
AFI Life Achievement Award
1976 Lifetime Achievement
Wyler was born Willi Weiller to a
Jewish family in Mulhousein the French region of Alsace(then part of the German Empire). [ Madsen 1973, p. 3.] He was distantly related to Carl Laemmle, founder of Universal Pictures, through his mother Melanie (a cousin of Laemmle's). After realizing that Willi was not interested in the family business of haberdashery and suffering through a terrible year working at 100000 CHEMISES in Paris after World War I, Melanie contacted her distant cousin about opportunities for him. Carl Laemmle was in the habit of coming to Europe each year and finding promising young men who would work in America.
In 1921, Willi found himself and a young Czech man, Paul Kohner (later the famous independent agent) on the same boat to New York. 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/week salary as messengers to Universal Pictures in New York. After working in New York for several Years Wyler decided he wanted to come to Hollywood and be a director.
Around 1923, he arrived in Los Angeles and began work on the Universal lot on the swing gang, cleaning the stages and moving the sets. His break came when he was hired as a 2nd assistant editor. His work ethic was uneven at best with Irving Thalberg nicknaming him "Worthless Willy". After some ups and downs (including getting fired) Wyler became focused on becoming a director. He started as a 3rd assistant director and by 1925 he became the youngest director on the Universal lot directing the Westerns that Universal were famed at cranking out. In 1928, he became a
naturalizedcitizen of the United States.
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", " Tom Brown of Culver", and "The Good Fairy". He became well-known for his merciless (some would say sadistic) 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 where he directed such classics as The Best Years of Our Lives(1946), The Little Foxes(1941), The Westerner(1940), Wuthering Heights(1939), Dead End(1937), These Three(1936) and Dodsworth(1936). Laurence Olivier, whom Wyler directed to two Oscar nominations in two films, credited Wyler with teaching him how to act for the screen. Bette Davisnot only received three Oscar nominations for her screen work under Wyler, but won her second Oscar for her performance in Wyler's 1938 film "Jezebel". Charlton Hestonwon "his" only nomination and Best Actor Oscar for his work in Wyler's 1959 "Ben-Hur".
In 1941 Wyler directed one of the key films that galvanized support for Britain and against the Nazis in an America slow to awaken to the threat in Europe, it was
Mrs. Miniver(1942),a story of a middle class English family adjusting to the war in Europe. Mrs. Miniverwon Wyler his first Academy Award for Best Director.
World War II
Between 1942 and 1945, Wyler served as a major in the
United States Army Air Forcesand directed two documentaries "" and " Thunderbolt!", the story of a P-47 fighter-bomber squadron in the Mediterranean.
Wyler also directed a film which captured the mood of the nation as it turned to peace after the war. "
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's most personal film, taken from his experiences away from his family for three years and on the front, The Best Years of Our Liveswon the Academy Award for Best Director(his second) and Academy Award for Best Picture.
During the 1950s and 1960s, Wyler directed a handful of critically acclaimed and influential films, most notably "Roman Holiday" (1953) which introduced
Audrey Hepburnto American audiences and resulted in her first Oscar nomination and only win, " The Heiress" which earned Olivia de Havillandher second Oscar, "Friendly Persuasion" (1956) which was awarded the Palme d'Or(Golden Palm) at the Cannes Film Festival, and " Ben-Hur" (1959) which won eleven Oscars (equalled only twice, by "Titanic" in 1997 and "" in 2003). Ben-Hur won Wyler his third Academy Award for Best Director.
Wyler's films garnered more awards for participating artists and actors than any other director in the history of Hollywood. He received twelve Oscar nominations for Best Director, winning three times, while dozens of his collaborators and actors won Oscars or were nominated.In 1965, Wyler won the
Irving ThalbergAward for career achievement. Eleven years later, he received the American Film InstituteLife Achievement Award. In addition to his Best Picture and Best Director Oscar wins, ten of Wyler's films earned Best Picture nominations.
Wyler's style is (among auteurist critics) notoriously difficult to perceive. He did not build a stable of players like Capra, Sturges or Ford. He directed varied types of films without any trademark shots or themes, but in his choice of lighting, blocking and camera distance, and in the serious liberal tone of his work, a continuity of worldview is detectable.
July 24, 1981, Wyler gave an interview with his daughter, producer Catherine Wylerfor " Directed by William Wyler", a PBS documentary about his life and career. A mere three days later, Wyler died from a heart attack. Wyler's last words on film concern a vision of directing his "next picture..."Going Home". Wyler is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
Wyler was briefly married to
Margaret Sullavan( November 25, 1934- March 13, 1936) and married Margaret Tallicheton October 23, 1938until his death; they had four children, Catherine, Judith, Melanie and David.
Academy Awards and nominations
*1937 Nominated "Dodsworth"
*1940 Nominated "Wuthering Heights"
*1941 Nominated "The Letter"
*1942 Nominated "The Little Foxes"
*1943 Won "Mrs. Miniver"
*1947 Won "
The Best Years of Our Lives"
*1950 Nominated "
*1952 Nominated "
*1954 Nominated "Roman Holiday"
*1957 Nominated "Friendly Persuasion"
*1959 Won "Ben-Hur"
*1966 Nominated "
Wyler has the distinction of having directed three Best Director Academy Award winners: "Ben Hur", "
The Best Years of Our Lives", and "Mrs. Miniver". He is tied with Frank Capraand behind John Ford, who won four Oscars in this category. There are twelve other directors who have won two Academy Awards for Best Director.
Filmography (as a director)
The Crook Buster" (1925)
The Gunless Bad Man" (1926)
Ridin' for Love" (1926)
The Fire Barrier" (1926)
Don't Shoot" (1926)
The Pinnacle Rider" (1926)
Martin of the Mounted" (1926)
Lazy Lightning" (1926)
The Stolen Ranch" (1926)
The Two Fister" (1927)
Kelcy Gets His Man" (1927)
Tenderfoot Courage" (1927)
*"The Silent Partner" (1927)
Blazing Days" (1927)
Shooting Straight" (1927)
Galloping Justice" (1927)
The Haunted Homestead" (1927)
Hard Fists" (1927)
*"The Lone Star" (1927)
The Home Trail" (1927)
Gun Justice" (1927)
The Phantom Outlaw" (1927)
The Square Shooter" (1927)
The Horse Trader" (1927)
Daze of the West" (1927)
The Border Cavalier" (1927)
Desert Dust" (1927)
Thunder Riders" (1928)
Anybody Here Seen Kelly?" (1928)
*"The Shakedown" (1929)
The Love Trap" (1929)
*"Hell's Heroes" (1930)
*"The Storm" (1930)
*"A House Divided" (1931)
Tom Brown of Culver" (1932)
Her First Mate" (1933)
Counsellor at Law" (1933)
*"The Good Fairy" (1935)
The Gay Deception" (1935)
*"Barbary Coast" (1935) (uncredited; replaced by Howard Hawks)
These Three" (1936)
*"Come and Get It" (1936)
Dead End" (1937)
*"Wuthering Heights" (1939)
*"The Westerner" (1940)
*"The Letter" (1940)
*"The Little Foxes" (1941)
*"Mrs. Miniver" (1942)
The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946)
The Heiress" (1949)
Detective Story" (1951)
*"Carrie" (1952) (based on
Theodore Dreiser's novel " Sister Carrie")
Roman Holiday" (1953)
*"The Desperate Hours" (1955)
*"Friendly Persuasion" (1956)
The Big Country" (1958)
*"The Children's Hour" (1961)
*"The Collector" (1965)
How to Steal a Million" (1966)
*"Funny Girl" (1968)
The Liberation of L.B. Jones" (1970)
* Anderegg, Michael A. "William Wyler". Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1979. ISBN 0-8057-9268-6.
* Herman, Jan. "A Talent for Trouble: The Life of Hollywood's Most Acclaimed Director". New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1995. ISBN 0-399-14012-3.
* Madsen, Axel. "William Wyler: the Authorized Biography". New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1973. ISBN 0-49101-302-7.
*imdb name|id=0943758|name=William Wyler
* [http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/wylerbib.html William Wyler bibliography] via UC Berkeley Media Resources Center
* [http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/directors/05/wyler.html Senses of Cinema: Great Directors Critical Database]
* [http://www.hellmanwyler.com "The Little Foxes" and Wyler's screen collaborations with playwright Lillian Hellman]
* [http://www.hellmanwyler.com Margaret Tallichet and William Wyler remembered at Alabama festival]
NAME= Wyler, William
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Weiller, Wilhelm
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Oscar-winning motion picture director
DATE OF BIRTH=
July 1, 1902
PLACE OF BIRTH=
Mülhausen, Alsace, Germany(now Mulhouse, Haut-Rhin, France)
DATE OF DEATH=
July 27, 1981
PLACE OF DEATH=
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
William Wyler — Données clés Nom de naissance William Wyler Naissance 1er juillet 1902 Mulhouse, Alsace Nationalité … Wikipédia en Français
William Wyler — Nombre real Willi Wyler Nacimiento 1 de julio de 1902 … Wikipedia Español
William Wyler — (* 1. Juli 1902 in Mülhausen, Elsass, als Wilhelm Weiller; † 27. Juli 1981 in Los Angeles) war ein Schweizer US amerikanischer Filmregisseur und Produzent. Seinen größten Erfolg feierte er 1959 mit dem Monumentalfilm Ben Hur. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 … Deutsch Wikipedia
William Wyler — (Mulhouse, 1 de julio de 1902 †Los Ángeles, 27 de julio de 1981) Director de cine estadounidense de origen suizo. Viajó a EE.UU. en 1921 llamado por su tío, Carl Laemmle, director de la Universal, y se inició en la dirección en 1925. Su obra, una … Enciclopedia Universal
William Wyler — noun United States filmmaker (1902 1981) • Syn: ↑Wyler • Instance Hypernyms: ↑film maker, ↑filmmaker, ↑film producer, ↑movie maker * * * William Wy … Useful english dictionary
William Wyler — ➡ Wyler * * * … Universalium
WYLER (W.) — WYLER WILLIAM (1902 1981) En 1948 on venait de découvrir, en France, les films tournés à Hollywood depuis 1940 par William Wyler , André Bazin écrivit pour les numéros 10 et 11 de La Revue du cinéma de Jean George Auriol, une étude restée… … Encyclopédie Universelle
WYLER, WILLIAM — (1902–1981), U.S. film director and producer. Born in Mulhouse, Alsace, Wyler emigrated to the United States in 1920 with his uncle, carl laemmle , head of Universal Pictures. In 1925 he directed the first of 50 two reel Westerns, starting his… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
William Friedkin — en 1973 sur le tournage de L Exorciste Données clés Naissance … Wikipédia en Français
Wyler — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Bea Wyler (* 1951), Schweizer Rabbinerin Dani Wyler (* 1952), Schweizer Fußballkommentator Gretchen Wyler (1932–2007), US amerikanische Schauspielerin Paul Wyler, Uhrenfabrikant Richard Wyler (auch Richard … Deutsch Wikipedia