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Finding Aid for the William Wyler Papers, 1925-1975
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Collection Overview
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Collection consists of materials related to the career of motion picture director, William Wyler. Includes correspondence, photographs, clippings, various annotated drafts and versions of film scripts, legal documents, notes, and budget and production information. Contains material related to films such as "Ben Hur" (1959), "Best Years Of Our Lives" (1946), "The Children's Hour" (1961), "The Collector" (1965), "Friendly Persuasion" (1956), "Funny Girl" (1968), "The Heiress" (1927), "The Letter" (1956), "Little Foxes" (1941), "Mrs. Miniver" (1942), "Roman Holiday" (1953), and "Wuthering Heights" (1939). Also includes transcript of script conference with Lillian Hellman, photographs from several unidentified westerns with Wyler and various people including Ted Wells and Fred Gilman, and unproduced script material with treatments by various people such as Robert Wyler.
Willy Wyler was born July 1, 1902 in Mulhouse Alsace-Lorraine; he traveled to America at the invitation of cousin Carl Laemmle, 1920, and became a US citizen, 1928; worked in the publicity dept. at Universal, NY and transferred to Universal City, Hollywood, 1921, where he apprenticed many jobs; he was asst. director at Universal, 1924 and directed his first film, "Crook Buster" (1925), and his first feature, "Lazy Lightning" (1926); during his first two years as a director he made more than 40 two-reel westerns; began his association with Samuel Goldwyn in 1936; "The Making Of These Three" (1936) marked his first collaboration with cameraman Gregg Toland, who worked in many of Wyler's films; he served as a Major in US Army Air Corps, 1942-45 and later helped found the Committee for the First Amendment to counteract the Hollywood investigation by House Un-American Activities Committee, 1947; with numerous directorial credits, he retired from directing in 1973; awards include Academy Award Best Direction for Mrs. Miniver (1942), "The Best Years Of Our Lives" (1946), and "Ben Hur" (1959), the Irving G. Thalberg Award (1965), and the American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award (1976); died July 29, 1981.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Performing Arts Special Collections, UCLA. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Arts Special Collections Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Performing Arts Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
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