Wilder was born to a family of Austrian Jews in 1906. After working as a journalist, he developed an interest in filmmaking and collaborated on the silent feature “People on Sunday” (1929) with fellow rookies Fred Zinnemann, Robert Siodmak and Edgar G. Ulmer. With the rise of Adolph Hitler, Wilder fled to Paris, where he co-directed the feature “Mauvaise Graine” (1934). Tragically, his mother, stepfather and grandmother all died in the Holocaust.
After moving to Hollywood, Wilder enjoyed a successful career as a screenwriter, earning Oscar nominations for penning 1939’s “Ninotchka