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Thursday, 5 September, 2002, 11:42 GMT 12:42 UK
Wilder's Oscars returned to academy
Billy Wilder
Wilder died in March aged 95
The six Oscar statuettes won by legendary director Billy Wilder have been returned to the Academy Awards' organisers following his death in March.

Wilder's widow, Audrey, handed them back to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at a special screening of his film The Lost Weekend at the academy's Beverly Hills headquarters.

She first met Wilder when she was an extra on the 1945 film, and the couple married four years later.

Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch, 1955
He directed Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch
The academy said in a statement it would keep the statuettes as an "ongoing testament to Wilder's magnificent career".

One of the Oscars will be used in an exhibition to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the academy early next year.

Wilder was nominated for 21 Oscars during his career, and took home his first statuettes for writing and directing the Lost Weekend.

He also won an Oscar for writing 1950's Sunset Boulevard, and three for writing, directing and producing The Apartment in 1960.

Billy Wilder displays the Golden Bear lifetime achievement award
Billy Wilder with another award - this time a Golden Bear
The academy also gave him its Irving G Thalberg award in 1987 to recognise his contribution to the film industry.

Austrian-born Wilder worked as a journalist in Berlin before emigrating to Hollywood in 1933 to escape Adolf Hitler's rise to power.

Becoming known for his comedy hits as well as his emotional dramas, he directed stars including Marlene Dietrich, Gloria Swanson, Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, Gary Cooper, and James Stewart.

See also:

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