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Filmmaker Billy Wilder’s Estate Donates $11M To Neurosurgery Unit At Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

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(FILE PHOTO) Austrian-born film director Billy Wilder smiles with his wife Audrey Young while standing in front of an airplane at Idlewild Airport (now John F. Kennedy) in New York City in 1960. Wilder died at age 95 of pneumonia March 28, 2002 at his home in Beverly Hills, CA. (Photo by Getty Images)

(FILE PHOTO) Austrian-born film director Billy Wilder smiles with his wife Audrey Young while standing in front of an airplane at Idlewild Airport (now John F. Kennedy) in New York City in 1960. Wilder died at age 95 of pneumonia March 28, 2002 at his home in Beverly Hills, CA. (Photo by Getty Images)

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STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — FilmmakerBilly Wilder and his wife’s estate donated $11 million to support the neurosurgery unit at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, hospital officials announced Wednesday.

The money will be split among: Billy and Audrey Wilder Endowed Chair in Neurosurgery, a separate endowment in neurosurgery, the hospital’s new interdepartmental neuro-oncology program within the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases and the Hay Edward Baher Chair in Pediatric Rheumatology.

“This endowed chair will create a permanent philanthropic legacy in the hospital’s neurosurgery division, allowing us to provide the best care for our young patients,” CHLA Chief of Medical Staff Mark Krieger said. “It will also support outstanding research scientists working to find cures for children diagnosed with brain tumors here at Children’s Hospital and beyond.”

Over 300 brain surgeries are performed by Krieger each year, while he also treats children with surgical brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves diseases.

Billy Wilder, who died in 2002 at the age of 95, is known for classic films such as “Some Like It Hot”, “Sunset Boulevard” and “The Apartment”.

His wife, Audrey, a 1940s-era singer and actress died in June. She was a longtime supporter of giving to children’s causes.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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