Oscar Directors: Wilder, Billy–14 Actors and 17 Performances Got Oscar Nominations or Awards

Billy Wilder is one of only few people to have won Academy Awards as producer, director and screenwriter for the same film, The Apartment.  He was the first person to accomplish that.

Ninotchka marked Wilder’s first Oscar Award nomination, which he shared with co-writer Charles Brackett (their collaboration on Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife and Midnight were well received). For twelve years (1938-1950), Wilder co-wrote many of his films with Brackett.

He directed 14 different actors and actresses in 17 Oscar-nominated performances:

Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity;

Ray Milland in The Lost Weekend;

William Holden in Sunset Blvd. and Stalag 17;

Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd.;

Erich von Stroheim in Sunset Blvd.;

Nancy Olson in Sunset Blvd;

Robert Strauss in Stalag 17;

Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina;

Charles Laughton in Witness for the Prosecution;

Elsa Lanchester in Witness for the Prosecution;

Jack Lemmon in Some Like It Hot and The Apartment;

Jack Kruschen in The Apartment;

Shirley MacLaine in The Apartment and Irma la Douce

Walter Matthau in The Fortune Cookie.

Milland, Holden and Matthau won Best Actor Oscars for their performances in Wilder films.

William Holden, Jack Lemmon, and Shirley MacLaine were nominated for two different Wilder films.

Wilder mentored Jack Lemmon and was the first director to pair him with Walter Matthau, in The Fortune Cookie (1966). Wilder had great respect for Lemmon, who starred in seven of his films, but never won an Oscar for any of them.

Wilder received a total of 21 Oscar Award nominations: 8 for Best Director, 12 for writing, and one as the producer of Best Picture.

With eight Oscar nominations for Best Director, Wilder is, together with Martin Scorsese, the second most nominated director in film history, behind William Wyler, and the second most nominated screenwriter behind Woody Allen.

Wilder won six Oscars:

Best Director for The Lost Weekend and The Apartment;

Best Screenplay for The Lost Weekend, Sunset Blvd., and The Apartment;

Best Picture for The Apartment;

In addition, he received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1988.