“Pink Panther” Director Blake Edwards Dies

Director was longtime husband of Julie Andrews

Blake Edwards, the brillian director behind the "Pink Panther" movies and "Breakfast at Tiffany's," died Wednesday in Santa Monica at the age of 88.

Married for years to actress Julie Andrews, Edwards was renowned for hilarious sight gags and funny dialogue. He succumbed to complications of pneumonia with Andrews and other family members at his hospiital bedside.

Edwards was working on two Broadway musicals, one based on the "Pink Panther" movies, according to his publicist, Gene Schwam.

"His heart was as big as his talent. He was an Academy Award winner in all respects," said Schwam, who knew him for 40 years.

In his storied career, Edwards worked with such screen giants as Jack Lemmon, Audrey Hepburn, Peter Sellers, Dudley Moore and Lee Remick.

Although many of Edwards' films, including "10," were hits, he was nominated for Academy Awards only twice, in 1982 for writing the adapted screenplay of "Victor/Victoria" and in 1983 for co-writing "The Man Who Loved Women." Lemmon and Remick won Oscar nominations in 1962 for "Days of Wine and Roses," and Hepburn was nominated for "Breakfast at Tiffany's" in 1961.

The motion picture academy selected Edwards to receive a lifetime achievement award in 2004 for "his writing, directing and producing an extraordinary body of work for the screen."

Edwards was a third-generation filmmaker. His grandfather, J. Gordon Edwards, was a pioneering director of silent films and his father, Jack McEdwards, became a top assistant director and production manager in Hollywood.

Andrews and Edwards married in 1968. She had a daughter, Emma, from her marriage to Broadway designer Tony Walton. Edwards had a daughter, Jennifer, and a son, Geoffrey, from his marriage to Patricia Edwards. He and Andrews adopted two Vietnamese children, Amy and Jo.

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