Beloved comedy writer-director Blake Edwards passed away late Wednesday evening after suffering from a bout of pneumonia. Edwards had been hospitalized for the last two weeks, and died at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California at the age of 88, with wife Julie Andrews and other family members and friends at his bedside.
The prolific artistry of Blake Edwards is responsible for creating such classic movies as Breakfast at Tiffany's, 10, and The Pink Panther. He was known for his crisp, clever dialogue and his ability to create poignancy out of absurdity. He reigned throughout the late 60s, 70s, and well into the 80s as the premier comedic voice in film. Before bringing his wit to the big screen, Blake was also known in the television world for creating the popular series Peter Gunn, for which he was nominated for an Emmy, and Mr. Lucky.
In 1982, Edwards received an Oscar nomination for his writing on Victor/Victoria. Though he lost, he was later awarded a Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 2004. His work slowed down considerably in the late 80s, though his voice resonated throughout the rest of that decade and continues to be heard today in the comedies of Judd Apatow and Adam McKay. At the time of his death, Blake was working on two very different Broadway musicals. The first was a stage adaptation of his own The Pink Panther, and the second was an original comedy titled Big Rosemary, which is set during the prohibition era.
At the time of his hospitalization, Edwards was recovering from an unsuccessful knee surgery, and had been confined to a wheelchair for the better part of a year. It is suspected that this past injury helped to worsen his condition.
Blake is survived by his wife Julie Andrews, whom he married in 1968 and worked with successfully over the years. He also leaves behind a stepdaughter Emma, as well as a daughter Jennifer, and a son, Geoffrey from his previous marriage to Patricia Edwards. Blake and Julie had also adopted two Vietnamese children named Amy and Jo.