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Blake Edwards
Born William Blake Crump
July 26, 1922 (1922-07-26) (age 87)
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Years active 1942–present
Spouse(s) Patricia Walker (1953–1967)
Julie Andrews (1969–)

William Blake Crump (born July 26, 1922), better known as Blake Edwards, is an Academy Award–nominated American film director, screenwriter, and producer. In 2004, he received an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of his writing, directing and producing an extraordinary body of work for the screen.

Edwards has had a distinguished career beginning in the 1940's as an actor but soon turned to writing radio scripts at Columbia Pictures. He used his writing skills to begin producing and directing, with some of his best films including: Experiment in Terror, The Great Race, and the hugely successful Pink Panther Film Series (with the British comic Peter Sellers). He is most renowned for his serious work, Breakfast at Tiffany's and Days of Wine and Roses.

Contents

Career

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Edwards was the son of a stage director. He began his career as an actor and scriptwriter, including seven screenplays for Richard Quine.

His early career as a scriptwriter was for radio. His hard-boiled private detective scripts for Richard Diamond, Private Detective became NBC's answer to Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, reflecting Edwards's unique humor. Edwards also created, wrote and directed the 1959 TV series Peter Gunn, with music by Henry Mancini. In the same year Edwards produced, with Mancini's musical theme Mr. Lucky, an adventure series on CBS starring John Vivyan and Ross Martin. Mancini's association with Edwards continued in his film work, significantly contributing to their success.

Edwards's most popular films have been comedies, the alcoholism-themed melodrama Days of Wine and Roses being a notable exception. His most dynamic and successful collaboration has been with Peter Sellers in six of the the Pink Panther movies. Five of the series involved Edwards and Sellers in original material, while Trail of the Pink Panther, made after Sellers's passing in 1980, was made up of unused material from The Pink Panther Strikes Again.

In 2004, Edwards received an Honorary Academy Award for cumulative achievements over the course of his film career. His acceptance speech was noted for not mentioning Sellers, his longtime collaborator.

Personal life

Edwards's second wife (since 1969) is Julie Andrews, who has appeared in a number of his films, including Darling Lili, 10, Victor/Victoria and the autobiographical satire S.O.B., in which Andrews played a character who was a caricature of herself. In 1995, he wrote the book for the stage musical adaptation of Victor/Victoria, also starring Andrews.

Edwards and Andrews have five children together[1]. The two eldest, Jennifer and Geoffrey, are from his previous marriage; middle child Emma is from Andrews's first marriage; and the youngest children are two adopted orphans from Vietnam, Amelia Leigh and Joanna Lynne. Edwards and Andrews adopted them in the early 1970s. All of the children, except Joanna, have appeared in his movies. Edwards is the grandson of prolific silent-film director J. Gordon Edwards.

In popular culture

Filmography

References

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Peter O'Toole
Academy Honorary Award
2004
Succeeded by
Sidney Lumet
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