During the 1930s, legendary director Billy Wilder stayed at the Marmont once he had secured a short-term contract with Columbia Pictures. On seeing the grand hotel, he thought he would never be able to afford a room. Manager Ann Little was eager to fill one of the hotel's tiniest rooms and described it to Wilder with a few exaggerations, calling it "our loveliest small suite." The room was actually "simply a furnished cubicle," Sarlot and Basten wrote. "Small, cramped, and dark. But to Billy Wilder, it was the answer to his prayers, a private sliver of heaven, where he could literally hole up close to the studios and write to his heart's content." Little remembered him working at all hours. "That young man was much too hard on himself," she said.