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William Wyler

113 years old
Mülhausen, Alsace
Profile Views: 5701

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July 1, 1902

July 27, 1981

Wilhelm Weiller

Margaret Sullavan (1934–1936; divorced)

Margaret Tallichet (1938–1981; his death) (5 children)

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The Liberation of L.B. Jones (1970)

Funny Girl (1968)

How to Steal a Million (1966)

The Collector (1965)

The Children's Hour (1961)

Ben-Hur (1959) (producer)

The Big Country (1958) (producer)

Friendly Persuasion (1956) (producer)

"Producers' Showcase" (1 episode, 1956)

The Desperate Hours (1955 )(producer)

Roman Holiday (1953) (producer)

Carrie (1952) (producer)

Detective Story (1951) (producer)

The Heiress (1949) (producer)

Thunderbolt (1947) (as Lt Col William Wyler)

Best-Years-Of-Our-Lives (1946)

The Fighting Lady (1944) (uncredited)

The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (1944) (writer)

Mrs. Miniver (1942)

The Little Foxes (1941)

The Letter (1940) (producer)

The Westerner (1940)

Wuthering Heights (1939)

Jezebel (1938) (producer)

Dead End (1937)

Come and Get It (1936) (completed film)

Dodsworth (1936) (actor)

These Three (1936)

Barbary Coast (1935) (uncredited; replaced by Howard Hawks)

The Gay Deception (1935)

The Good Fairy (1935)

Glamour (1934)

Counsellor at Law (1933)

Her First Mate (1933) (actor)

Tom Brown of Culver (1932)

A House Divided (1931)

The Storm (1930)

Hell's Heroes (1930)

The Love Trap (1929) (producer)

The Shakedown (1929) (actor)

Anybody Here Seen Kelly? (1928)

Thunder Riders (1928)

Desert Dust (1927)

The Border Cavalier (1927)

Daze of the West (1927)

The Horse Trader (1927)

The Square Shooter (1927)

The Phantom Outlaw (1927)

Gun Justice (1927)

The Home Trail (1927)

The Ore Raiders (1927)

The Lone Star (1927)

Hard Fists (1927)

The Haunted Homestead (1927)

Galloping Justice (1927)

Shooting Straight (1927)

Blazing Days (1927)

The Silent Partner (1927)

Tenderfoot Courage (1927)

Kelcy Gets His Man (1927)

The Two Fister (1927)

The Stolen Ranch (1926)

Lazy Lightning (1926)

Martin of the Mounted (1926)

The Pinnacle Rider (1926)

Don't Shoot (1926)

The Fire Barrier (1926)

Ridin' for Love (1926) (writer)

The Gunless Bad Man (1926)

The Crook Buster (1925)


The Children's Hour (1961) (producer)


"The Jackie Gleason Show" (4 episodes, 1966-1970)


Directed by William Wyler (1986)

Laurence Olivier: A Life (1982) (TV)

"Hollywood" (1980) TV mini-series (unknown episodes)

The American Film Institute Salute to Bette Davis (1977) (TV)

The 48th Annual Academy Awards (1976) (TV)

The American Film Institute Presents a Salute to William Wyler (1976) (TV)

"This Is Your Life" (1 episode, 1971)

This Is Streisand (1968)

À Hollywood avec... (1964)

The 33rd Annual Academy Awards (1961) (TV)

The 32nd Annual Academy Awards (1960) (TV)

"Cinépanorama" (1 episode, 1958)

"Toast of the Town" (1 episode, 1957)

The Screen Director (1951) (uncredited)

Screen Snapshots Series 17, No. 9 (1938)

Director William Wyler William Wyler Holding His Oscar Award William Wyler and John Barrymore

It's a miserable life in Hollywood. You're up at five or six o'clock in the morning to be ready to start shooting at nine. The working hours aren't arranged to suit the artists and the directors; they're for the convenience of the technicians. If you go to a party at night, you'll never find anyone there who's shooting a picture; they're all home in bed.

I made over 40 westerns. I used to lie awake nights trying to think up new ways of getting on and off a horse.

I may not make a good picture, but I still gotta believe it.

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His father Swiss father Leopold, started as a traveling salesman which he later turned into a thriving haberdashery business. His mother, Melanie who passed away February 13, 1955 in Los
Angeles, California was from Germany.

He attended a number of schools and developed a reputation as "something of a hell-raiser", 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.

As a youth, Wyler spent time in Paris studying violin at the National Conservatory.

Carl Laemmle was the first cousin of Wyler's mother. Laemmle offered Wyler, who was then living in his native Alsace, France, a job in Universal's New York office. Wyler accepted the offer and emigrated to America in 1920. He was 18 years old.

After working as an assistant director on the Lon Chaney version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) Wyler landed his first directorial job at the age of 23, directing Crook Buster (1925),the first of 40 two-reel, action-packed westerns he directed for Universal Studios.

He became the youngest director on the Universal lot on his promotion in 1925.

Wyler believed that after many takes, actors got angry and began to shed their preconceived ideas about acting in general and the part in particular. Stripped of these notions, actors were able to play at a truer level.

He was such a perfectionist that he 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 in his performance in Ben-Hur, Wyler dismissed his concerns with a simple, ”Be better”.

In June of 1944 he permanently lost the hearing in his right ear while filming a bombing mission from a B-17.

He served in the New York National Guard for a year.

He turned down offers to direct Henry V (1944) and The Sound of Music (1965).

He is interred at Forest Lawn, Glendale, California, USA, in the Eventide Section, space 2, plot #2998.


Thunderbolt (1947) $2,500 per week + 20% of profits

Ben-Hur (1959) $1,000,000

Must-see Movies

Jezebel (1938)

Wuthering Heights (1939)

Mrs-Miniver (1942)

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Roman Holiday (1953)

Ben-Hur (1959)

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