Appreciating all that makes America special

William Wyler, Director

William Wyler could be the best film director you may never have heard of. His films include Mrs. Miniver, The Best Years of Our Lives, Roman Holiday, and Ben-Hur. Uploaded by

I can read your mind. Yes, you. You’re out there thinking, William Who? Admit it. Well, it’s not often that a film director with this incredible body of work is virtually unknown outside of the film cognoscenti. William Wyler received more Academy Award Best Director nominations – 12 – than any other director. And his three wins is tied with Frank Capra for the second-most, behind John Ford’s four wins.

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Here’s a summary of the great film William Wyler created:

  • Dodsworth (1936, Nominated)
  • Jezebel (1938)
  • Wuthering Heights (1939, Nominated)
  • The Letter (1940, Nominated)
  • The Little Foxes (1941, Nominated)
  • Mrs. Miniver (1942, Oscar)
  • The Best Years of Our Lives (1946, Oscar)
  • The Heiress (1949, Nominated)
  • Detective Story (1952, Nominated)
  • Roman Holiday (1953, Nominated)
  • Friendly Persuasion (1957, Nominated)
  • Ben-Hur (1959, Oscar)
  • The Collector (1965, Nominated)
  • Funny Girl (1968)

If you have any appreciation for classic films, you know that’s one heck of a resume. Perhaps one reason Wyler isn’t as well known is that he didn’t develop his own group of favorite actors, but led many individuals in Oscar-winning performances. Those who won Best Actor or Best Actress in his films included Laurence Olivier, Bette Davis, Charlton Heston, Barbara Streisand, Audrey Hepburn, Greer Garson, Olivia de Havilland, and others.


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