William Holden is born in O’Fallon, Illinois, 1918. In February of 1952, the actor reunited with his Sunset Blvd. director, Billy Wilder, for the film version of the stage play Stalag 17. It wasn’t an easy “yes” for Holden to get to, as he had seen the play—a comedy/drama about a motley group of POWs and their growing suspicion that one of them is an informer—and walked out after the first act. Charlton Heston was intended for the lead character of role of Sergeant J.J. Sefton; he dropped out when Sefton was made more cynical and less heroic. Kirk Douglas said he turned down the role because, like Holden, he didn’t like the play. Ultimately, Holden was forced by Paramount to take the part. For the year 1953, William Holden took home the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Sefton.