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William A. Wellman
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    (February 29, 1896-December 9, 1975)
    Born in Brookline, Massachusetts
    Directed 'Wings' (1927), 'Ladies of the Mob' (1928), 'The Legion of the Condemned' (1928), 'The Public Enemy' (1931), 'Love Is A Racket' (1932), 'Heroes for Sale' (1933), 'The President Vanishes' (1934), 'Call of the Wild' (1935), 'A Star Is Born' (1937), 'Nothing Sacred' (1937), 'Beau Geste' (1939), 'Roxie Hart' (1942), 'The Ox-Bow Incident' (1943), 'The Story of G.I. Joes' (1945), 'Magic Town' (1947), 'Battleground' (1949), 'The High and the Mighty' (1954), 'Blood Alley' (1955), 'Darby's Rangers' (1958) and 'Lafayette Escadrille' (1958)
    Received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Director's Guild of America (1973)
    He was expelled from high school for dropping a stink bomb on the principal's head.
    Ironically, his mother was a probation officer who had testified before Congress about juvenile delinquency.
    He had a brief acting career that ended when he slapped his leading lady, who was director Raoul Walsh's wife.
    He said, 'I couldn't stand being an actor. I haven't liked many actors anyway, and I've directed most of them. One of my sons is an actor and it breaks my heart, but there's nothing I can do about it.'
    He was married four times, divorced three times.
    During World War I, he joined the French Lafayette Flying Corps and earned the Croix de Guerre.
    He directed the film that won the first Oscar for Best Picture, 'Wings.'
    In addition to directing, he served as one of the stunt pilots in 'Wings.'
    He won the Oscar for Best Story for 'A Star Is Born.'
    He said, 'The best director is the director whose handprints are not on the film.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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