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Children’s Hospital Los Angeles receives $11-million gift

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has received an $11-million gift from the estate of an Oscar-winning filmmaker and his wife.

The gift from Billy and Audrey Wilder will be used to create an endowed chair of the Division of Neurosurgery, which will be named after the late couple. Funds will also be used for general neurosurgical research and the treatment of neuro tumors, rheumatic diseases and other illnesses. 

The Wilders were longtime supporters of the hospital. Audrey, a singer and actress who died in June, met Billy on the 1944 set of “The Lost Weekend,” which won him his first of two film directing Oscars. He died in 2002.

“We were told we were going to get a gift in July because we were named in the estate, we just didn’t know how much,” said Lorenzo Benet, hospital spokesman. “We were surprised.”

The donation from The Wilder Family Trust is among the largest ever made to the hospital, officials said.

“This gift will enable us to build on our reputation as one of the finest pediatric brain tumor clinical programs and neurosurgery research centers in the country,” said Dr. Mark Krieger, chief of medical staff and the head of the neurosurgery division.

The neurosurgery division performs more than 500 surgeries a year, Krieger said.


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