Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blake Edwards, 1922-2010

Blake Edwards with wife Julie Andrews

The death has been announced of writer-director Blake Edwards. Edwards actually started as an actor in the 1940s, although many of his roles were small ones for which he didn't get any on-screen credit; something which might well have spurred him to get into behind the scenes work. One of his first big hits as a director was Operation Petticoat. But, Edwards proved he was adept in many different genres, directing the romantic drama Breakfast at Tiffany's, as well as the much more hard-hitting drama The Days of Wine and Roses, in which Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick play an alcoholic married couple whose lives go down the drain, and later, Bo Derek in 10. Apparently, though, the only time Edwards was nominated for an Oscar was for writing the screenplay to Victor/Victoria.

In his day, he was just as much a sex symbol as Bo DerekOf course, the first time I ever came across Edwards' name was with the old Pink Panther cartoons, which showed up on TV in the days when TV stations had cartoons on in the early morning and afternoons instead of crappy court shows. I didn't know then that the Pink Panther character had come from a caper comedy, and certainly didn't know anything about Peter Sellers. (In the first movie, the "Pink Panther" is actually a diamond, not the cat.) It only goes to show the broad range of Edwards' work.

Edwards is survived by his wife of 41 years, actress Julie Andrews.

TCM has already announced its tribute, which will consist of five films in prime time on Monday, December 27.

No comments: