'''Billy Wilder''' (1906-2002) was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer, regarded as one of the greatest and most versatile filmmakers of the GoldenAgeOfHollywood.

He was born as Samuel Wilder in Sucha, Galicia, now part of Poland, but at that time, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the early '30s, he worked as a screenwriter for German films under the name "Billie Wilder", but after [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler Hitler]] came to power, he emigrated to the United States, because of his Jewish ancestry. He continued his career as a screenwriter there, further changing his name to "Billy Wilder". He directed his first American movie, ''Film/TheMajorAndTheMinor,'' in 1942, and followed it with a string of critical and commercial hits until the '60s. Wilder equally excelled in dark, cynical [[FilmNoir noir]] dramas and satires or light [[RomanticComedy romantic comedies]]. He co-wrote all of his films, and won six {{Academy Award}}s, two for Best Director, three for Best Writing, and one for Best Picture.

!Billy Wilder's More Important Films Include:

!!As writer:
* ''Film/{{Ninotchka}}'' (1939) -- Romantic comedy about a love affair between a Soviet diplomat (Creator/GretaGarbo) and a French aristocrat; one of the first American films to portray the Soviet Union. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch.
* ''Film/BallOfFire'' (1941) -- Screwball comedy about a mobster's girlfriend hiding from the law with an ObliviousToLove English professor. Directed by Creator/HowardHawks.

!!As director:
* ''Film/TheMajorAndTheMinor'' (1942) -- As noted, his directorial debut in America.
* ''Film/DoubleIndemnity'' (1944) -- The quintessential FilmNoir, starring Fred [=MacMurray=] and Barbara Stanwyck. Co-written with Creator/RaymondChandler.
* ''Film/TheLostWeekend'' (1945) -- The first Hollywood movie that portrayed alcoholism dramatically, starring Ray Milland. Won Best Picture.
* ''Film/SunsetBoulevard'' (1950) -- A dark, cynical take on the film industry and fame, starring William Holden and Gloria Swanson.
* ''Film/AceInTheHole'' (aka ''The Big Carnival'') (1951) -- A brutally cynical movie about journalism, starring Creator/KirkDouglas.
* ''Film/{{Stalag 17}}'' (1953) -- A comedy-drama about [=POW=]s in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, starring William Holden.
* ''Film/{{Sabrina}}'' (1954) -- A light romantic comedy starring Creator/AudreyHepburn and Creator/HumphreyBogart.
* ''Film/TheSevenYearItch'' (1955) -- A romantic comedy with Creator/MarilynMonroe, source of the [[MarilynManeuver iconic image]].
* ''Film/WitnessForTheProsecution'' (1957) - A courtroom drama starring Creator/CharlesLaughton and Creator/MarleneDietrich, based on Creator/AgathaChristie's play, famous for its TwistEnding.
* ''Film/LoveInTheAfternoon'' (1957) -- A romantic comedy with Creator/AudreyHepburn and Gary Cooper in a MayDecemberRomance.
* ''Film/SomeLikeItHot'' (1959) -- A classic comedy, again starring Creator/MarilynMonroe, with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon.
* ''Film/TheApartment'' (1960) -- A comedy-drama with Jack Lemmon and Creator/ShirleyMacLaine, about the then-scandalous subject of adultery. Won Best Picture.
* ''Film/OneTwoThree'' (1961) -- A comedy set in West Berlin, satirizing both communism and capitalism, starring Creator/JamesCagney.
* ''Film/TheFortuneCookie'' (1966) -- A legal satire with Jack Lemmon as a somewhat reluctant fraud and Walter Matthau (AA Best Supporting Actor) as his opportunistic lawyer.
* ''Film/ThePrivateLifeOfSherlockHolmes'' (1970) -- A combination AffectionateParody and {{deconstruction}} of the Franchise/SherlockHolmes character.