Austrian-American filmmaker (1906-2002). Fled Germany after Hitler came to power in 1933. Knew no English when he arrived in Hollywood, but he learned the language fast (he once described his English as a combination of Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Archbishop Desmond Tutu) and broke into American films with the assistance of former roommate Peter Lorre and others.

His films include many timeless classics, including "Double Indemnity", "The Lost Weekend", "Sunset Boulevard". "The Big Carnival", "Stalag 17", "Sabrina", "The Seven Year Itch", "Witness for the Prosecution", "The Spirit of St. Louis", "Some Like It Hot", and "The Apartment". He won numerous Academy Awards as a writer, director, and producer. The last movie he directed was 1981's "Buddy Buddy", though he considered directing "Schindler's List" and turned down a role in "Jerry MacGuire".

He died of pneumonia on March 27, 2002, at his home in Beverly Hills, California.
Born Samuel Wilder on June 22, 1906 in Vienna. As a boy he spent much of his time watching Hollywood movies mainly of the westerns, comedies, and adventure genres. Being a Jew in the Austro-Hungarian empire though had it's effects on him. At school he would be teased and be mocked of. Billy Wilder died on March 27, 2002 in his home. Billy Wilder studied for a career in law, but soon decided to pursue a career in journalism.Wilder left Vienna for Berlin in 1927 at the age of 21 because he had landed a job as a reporter for a major Berlin newspaper. Later Wilder broke into films in Germany as a screenwriter. In 1933, when Hitler came to power, Wilder left for Paris as a refugee from Nazi Germany, then to Hollywood a year later in 1934 with eleven dollars in his pocket. His family was also killed in a concentration camp. Billy Wilder has directed stars such as Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Swanson, Ginger Rogers, Marlene Dietrich, Barbara Stanwyck, Shirley MacLaine, Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart, Ray Milland, Jack Lemmon, James Cagney, and many other famous silver-screen personalities.
"People copy, people steal. Most of the pictures they make nowadays are loaded down with special effects. I couldn't do that. I quit smoking because I couldn't reload my Zippo." - Billy Wilder, quoted in The New York Times
Here is a list of the following movies that he has directed, courtesy of the Internet Movie Database:
Buddy Buddy (1981)
Fedora (1978)
Front Page, The (1974)
Avanti! (1972)
Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, The (1970)
Fortune Cookie, The (1966)
... aka Meet Whiplash Willie (1966) (UK)
Kiss Me, Stupid (1964)
Irma la Douce (1963)
One, Two, Three (1961)
Apartment, The (1960)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
Love in the Afternoon (1957)
Spirit of St. Louis, The (1957)
Seven Year Itch, The (1955)
Sabrina (1954)
... aka Sabrina Fair (1954) (UK)
Stalag 17 (1953)
Big Carnival, The (1951)
... aka Ace in the Hole (1951) (USA)
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Foreign Affair, A (1948)
Emperor Waltz, The (1948)
Lost Weekend, The (1945)
Double Indemnity (1944)
Five Graves to Cairo (1943)
Major and the Minor, The (1942)
Mauvaise graine (1934)
... aka Bad Blood (1934)
... aka Bad Seed (1934)

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