Date of birth : June 22, 1906, Sucha, Poland.
He emigrated to the USA in 1933, after having given up his law studies for journalism and worked as a screenwriter in Berlin.
Several years later, he started to write for the Paramount.
He linked up with Charles Brackett (until 1950) and had a nomination to the Academy Awards for "Ninotchka" (1939).
He was co-writer and director of the following movies, all nominated to the Academy Awards :
"Double Indemnity" in 1944
"A Foreign Affair" in 1948
"Stalag 17" in 1953
" The Lost Weekend" in 1945, "Some Like it Hot" in 1959 and "The Apartment" () in 1960 received several Academy Awards.
"The Seven Year Itch"
toothpaste advert scene
blouse and denim
Mae West costume
For "Some Like it Hot", Marilyn's proverbial intransigence on the set reached its climax : she was missing for complete mornings, was too groggy by the drugs to remember her lines, sometimes needed 50 shots for simple sequences and ignored Wilder, letting herself guided by Paula Strasberg.
Press conference, July 1958
With Jack Lemmon
At the end of the shooting, he refused to invite Marilyn at the party celebrating the end of the movie.
At that time, relieved, he admitted to a reporter : "For the first time, I can begin looking at my wife without wanting to beat her because she's a woman".
The vestiges of their disputes faded on June 21, 1960 when she attended the preview of "The Apartment"
(,) and the following party at Romanoff.
In many interviews, he recognized Marilyn's talent and expressed his despair about the tensions a shooting with her involved.
In 1964, he celebrated his 58th birthday on the set of "Kiss Me Stupid" :
In 1986 he received a "Life Achievement Award" from the American Film Institute, rewarding his whole career.
In 1994 :
Bibliography"Billy Wilder in Hollywood", Maurice Zolotow, New York, Putnam, 1977.