William Wyler

Lacking a signature style, the pictures of Hollywood golden age director William Wyler instead distinguish themselves through a focus on stories and the integrity of the performances. The result has been a string of "mosts" for Wyler: most Oscar nominations (12); most Oscar-winning performances by actors in his films (14); and most Best Picture Oscars (3).

Born July 1, 1902, in Alsace, Germany, Wyler came to the United States at age 18 to work for his cousin Carl Laemmle, the head of Universal Pictures. In 1936, he began a long collaboration with Samuel Goldwyn that would result in some of his finest films, including Wuthering Heights, The Little Foxes and The Letter.

After serving in World War II, Wyler made what many believe to be his greatest film, The Best Years of Our Lives -- though even it couldn't match the record 11 Oscars his 1959 epic Ben-Hur received. Wyler died July 27, 1981.

Filmography