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Tuesday, 30 April, 2002, 09:55 GMT 10:55 UK
Hollywood remembers Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
Wilder died of pneumonia, aged 95, in March
Legendary director Billy Wilder will be remembered by Hollywood with a screening of excerpts of his best work and tributes from his friends in the film industry.

Tony Curtis, who starred in Wilder's hit Some Like It Hot, and Kevin Spacey will be among those to speak about Wilder at a memorial event that will take place on Wednesday.

Tony Curtis with Kevin Spacey
Actors and directors will speak about Wilder's work
The event will also include a montage of clips from some of his best-loved films, which also include Double Indemnity, The Lost Weekend and Sunset Boulevard.

Wilder, who was 95, won seven Oscars in his career and was regarded as one of Hollywood's greatest ever directors and was nominated for a further 14 Academy Awards.

He died of pneumonia at his home in Beverly Hills on Wednesday, 27 March. No funeral service or public service was held.

The memorial event is being organised by two of the biggest unions in Hollywood, the Directors' Guild of America and the Writers' Guild of America.

Jack Lemmon in The Front Page, 1974
Jack Lemmon in The Front Page, 1974
"In addition to a montage of Wilder's work, friends and fans will speak about this remarkable man and his awe-inspiring career in the entertainment industry," a statement from the unions said.

Actors Sidney Poitier and Billy Bob Thornton, and directors Larry Gelbart and Cameron Crowe will be among the others to speak at the event.

Crowe, who published a series of interviews with Wilder, said his movies were "a world-wide language of love, intelligence and sparking wit".

He added: "To any fan of film or any student of how a great life is lived, all roads lead to Billy Wilder."

'Idol'

Shirley MacLaine, who co-starred in Wilder's The Apartment, said: "I learned more from him than anyone else.

"He will write and direct another masterpiece in heaven."

In a career spanning six decades, Wilder directed more than 50 films.

"He's the idol of almost every other director who's come along," Dan Olson, a long-time Hollywood publicist, said.

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Hollywood director Billy Wilder has died aged 95Billy Wilder
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See also:

14 Jan 00 | Entertainment
Hollywood's wild about Wilder
29 Mar 02 | Film
Billy Wilder: A film legend
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