The film director, screenwriter and producer, Blake Edwards, has died aged 88.
Edwards started out as an actor, appearing in around 30 films, before turning his hand to directing. His first big-budget production was Operation Petticoat, starring Cary Grant and Tony Curtis, which was described as the greatest box office success of the 1950s for Universal Studios.
Sellers went on to direct Audrey Hepburn in one of her most iconic roles as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. He also achieved significant success with Days of Wine and Roses – a melodrama documenting the effects of alcoholism.
However, many of Edwards’ best known films were comedies. He was probably best known for his work with Peter Sellers, who starred in The Pink Panther series of detective films, the first of which was released in 1963. The films were hugely popular, and incorporated much slapstick-style humour that Edwards is likely to have picked up a feel for from his grandfather, the silent film director J.Gordon Edwards.
Edwards also made several films starring his second wife, Julie Andrews, including Darling Lili and Victor Victoria.
Although none of his films ever won Edwards an Academy Award, he was given an honorary Oscar for his cumulative achievements over the course of his career in 2004.
Edwards was reported to be working on two Broadway musicals at the time of his death – one of which was based on the Pink Panther films. The other was said to be a comedy entitled Big Rosemary, set during the Prohibition era.
He passed away on 15th December 2010 following complications from pneumonia, whilst at a Health Centre in Southern California.