Billy Wilder’s six Oscars
April 18, 1961: Billy Wilder sits with his six Oscars after winning three more the previous evening for the movie “The Apartment.”
Times staff writer Jack Smith reported the next morning:
Hollywood went back to work Tuesday, generally speaking, after its annual ritual of self-examination known as the Academy Awards…
Wilder’s picture, “The Apartment,” was chosen as the best of the year. For the same picture he won an award for the best direction and, in collaboration with I.A.L. Diamond, for the year’s best screenplay.
Wilder said he had a hunch as far back as last May, when he previewed “The Apartment,” that he had a winner.
“You never know, though,” he said, “what the opposition is going to come up with before the Oscar deadline.”
Wilder said he was especially pleased that the top award was given to a comedy, the first time since 1944, when “Going My Way” won the best picture Oscar.
Wilder, who already held three Oscars before his latest bonanza, admitted that while “writing is a lonesome job,” directing is a joy.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said, “especially when you have competent and likable actors and actresses on the job. When you direct one of your own stories, the way it takes shape and comes to life is doubly enjoyable.”
This photo was not published the next morning, but used in the 1999 Times book “High Exposure: Hollywood Lives – Found Photos from the Archives of the Los Angeles Times.”
For more on Billy Wilder, check out his bio on the Times’ Hollywood Star Walk web site.
March 29, 2012, 8:23 am
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