Arthur Hiller graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1947, a Master of Arts degree in psychology in 1950 and received an honorary Doctor of Laws in 1995. Hiller began his show business career in television for the CBC in Toronto in the 1950s, and was a successful television director before moving into films and Hollywood. Hiller served as President of the Directors Guild of America from 1989 to 1993 and President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1993 to 1997. He was the recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2002 Academy Awards ceremony in recognition of his humanitarian, charitable and philanthropic efforts.
He and his wife Gwen have been married since 1948. They have two children and two grandchildren (Kellen Carpenter and Sienna Hiller).