Moved to Vienna at age 8 (date approximate)
Joined staff of DIE STUNDE as journalist
Moved to Berlin aged 20; worked various jobs including crime reporter and (allegedly) arts critic, dancer and gigolo
First film as co-screenwriter (with Curt Siodmak), the pseudo-documentary "Menschen am Sonntag/People on Sunday", co-directed by Robert Siodmak and Edgar G Ulmer
Worked as a screenwriter for UFA; among his sound pictures was Gerhard Lamprecht's version of "Emil and the Detectives" (1931)
Fled from Nazi Germany to Paris
In France, made co-directing debut with Alexander Esway on "Mauvaise Graine/Bad Blood"; also co-wrote script
First Hollywood credit, "Adorable", (shared a "from story" credit as film was based on 1931 German picture "Ihre Hoheit befiehlt")
Moved to Hollywood via Mexico; shared a room and "a can of soup a day" with actor Peter Lorre
First screen credits after moving to Hollywood; "One Exciting Adventure" (co-story) and "Music in the Air" (as co-writer, billed as 'Billie Wilder'); latter starred Gloria Swanson
Teamed with Charles Brackett; first produced script, Ernst Lubitsch's "Bluebeard's Eighth Wife" (1938)
With Brackett and Walter Reisch, co-wrote Lubitsch's "Ninotchka"; received first of 20 Academy Award nominations
Scripted (with Brackett) Howard Hawks' "Ball of Fire"; Oscar-nominated for Best Original Story; also received Best Screenplay nomination (shared with Brackett) for "Hold Back the Dawn"
Hollywood directing debut (also co-writer with Brackett), "The Major and the Minor", starring Ray Milland and Ginger Rogers
First film directing actor Erich von Stroheim, "Five Graves to Cairo"
Co-author (with Raymond Chandler) and director of "Double Indemnity", starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray; received first Best Director Academy Award nomination; also shared Best Screenplay nomination
Returned to Berlin as colonel in charge of US Army Psychological Warfare Division
Captured first two Oscars for direction and script (written with Brackett) for "The Lost Weekend", starring Milland as an alcohlic in relentless pursuit of the next drink
Savagely sent-up America's military presence in post-World War II Berlin in "Foreign Affair"
Directed last collaboration with Charles Brackett, "Sunset Boulevard", collecting two more Oscar nominations (and a win for Best Screenplay); starred Swanson, William Holden and von Stroheim
First film as producer, "Ace in the Hole/The Big Carnival"; also directed and co-wrote
Directed first of three successive adaptations of stage plays, "Stalag 17", picking up an Oscar nomination for Best Director; second film with Holden (who picked up a Best Actor statue)
Helmed and co-adapted "Sabrina", earning Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay; third film with Holden
First time directing Marilyn Monroe, "The Seven Year Itch"
Picked up Oscar nomination for directing "Witness for the Prosecution", adapted from the play by Agatha Christie
First collaboration with co-writer and producer I.A.L. Diamond, "Love in the Afternoon"; has been called "Wilder's most emphatic tribute to Lubitsch," a romantic comedy of the greatest elegance and charm
Received Oscar nominations for directing and co-writing (with Diamond) "Some Like It Hot", starring Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon
Won three Academy Awards, Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay (shared with Diamond) for "The Apartment", which reunited him with MacMurray and Lemmon; first screen collaboration with Shirley MacLaine
Reteamed with MacLaine and Lemmon for "Irma la Douce", his last box-office hit
"Kiss Me Stupid" condemned by the Legion of Decency
Final Oscar nomination for writing (with Diamond) "The Fortune Cookie", starring Lemon; also directed; Walter Matthau received Best Supporting Actor Oscar
"Promises, Promises", a musical by Neil Simon, Burt Bacharach and Hal David based on "The Apartment", opened on Broadway; produced by David Merrick
Extremely personal Wilder film, "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes", received only a moderately warm reception at the time of its release
Helmed, produced and co-wrote (with Diamond) the underrated comedy "Avanti!", starring Lemmon and Juliet Mills
"Sugar", an ill-fated musical adaptation of "Some Like It Hot" with a score by Jule Styne, opened on Broadway; produced by Merrick
Reunited with Lemmon and Matthau for ill-fated remake of "The Front Page"
Mined the themes of "Sunset Boulevard" in "Fedora", starring Holden as fading producer Dutch Detweiler; adapted from a short story by Tom Tryon about a Garboesque star
Final film as writer-director, "Buddy Buddy", starring Lemmon and Matthau
Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage musical based on "Sunset Boulevard" returned Wilder to public consciousness
Approached by director Cameron Crowe to play cameo role of a legendary agent (Dickie Fox) and mentor to "Jerry Maguire"; Wilder refused role