William Wyler papers

Special Collections
Margaret Herrick Library © 2013

Descriptive Summary

Title: William Wyler papers
Date (inclusive): 1900-1987
Date (bulk): 1924-1970
Collection number: 204
Creator: Wyler, William
Extent: 28.5 linear feet of papers.
Repository: Margaret Herrick Library. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Languages: English

Important Information for Users of the Collection


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Preferred Citation

William Wyler papers, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


William Wyler was a German-born director, producer, and screenwriter active in film from 1923 to 1970. He emigrated to the United States in the early 1920s. Wyler worked for Universal Pictures, first in New York, then in Hollywood from around 1922 to 1936. He married actress Margaret Tallichet in 1938, having previously been married to actress Margaret Sullavan. Wyler received Academy Awards for directing MRS. MINIVER (1942), THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946), and BEN-HUR (1959). His other nominations for directing include WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939) and THE HEIRESS (1949). For ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953) and FRIENDLY PERSUASION (1956) he was nominated in both the directing and best picture categories. Wyler received the 1965 Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The William Wyler papers span the years 1900-1987 (bulk 1924-1970) and encompass 28.5 linear feet. The collection contains scripts, production information, correspondence, and clippings. The bulk of the material is for Wyler's films from 1927 through WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939). Of his later films, the most coverage is on ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953), FUNNY GIRL (1968), AND THE LIBERATION OF L.B. JONES (1970). The unproduced production files contain scripts and memos on projects Wyler was involved in primarily during his time at Universal. The subject files contain clippings, miscellaneous correspondence, contract files, and information about Wyler's political activities. The bulk of the correspondence ends around 1940 and resumes in the 1960s. There is also a small amount of personal information, including files on his brothers, as well as Southern Methodist University oral histories with Wyler and Margaret "Talli" Wyler. The World War II files contain information about Wyler's service in the U.S. Army, including orders, correspondence, photographs, and newspapers and magazines. Thirteen scrapbooks include clippings and reviews on Wyler's earliest films through ROMAN HOLIDAY, as well as for THE BIG COUNTRY and THE CHILDREN'S HOUR (1961). There are personal publicity clippings on Wyler as well as a mid-1930s scrapbook on Margaret Tallichet's acting career.


Arranged in the following series: 1. Production files, subseries A-B as follows: A. Produced; B. Unproduced; 2. Story files; 3. Subject files, subseries A-B as follows: A. General; B. World War II files; 4. Scrapbooks

Indexing Terms

Wyler, William , 1902-1981--Archives