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Posted at 12:43 PM ET, 12/16/2010

Blake Edwards dead at 88

By Liz Kelly

Blake Edwards, a 2001 Kennedy Center Honoree, with wife Julie Andrews. (AP)

Blake Edwards, the man credited with creating the "Pink Panther" passed away this morning at 88.

Edwards will be remembered as a comic genius for creating Peter Sellers's "Pink Panther" character and for writing and directing a slew of comedies -- including "10," "Victor/Victoria" and "S.O.B." -- the last two starring his wife of 41 years, Julie Andrews. His films became the template for '80s-era smart comedy. But the writer/director also had a serious side, directing Audrey Hepburn in 1961's adaptation of Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and 1962's brutal look at alcoholism, "Days of Wine and Roses."

From Variety.com:

"I would not be able to get through life had I not been able to view its painfulness in a comedic way," he once told a reporter. "So when I put life up there on the screen, quite often it resembles things that happen to me or at least comic metaphors for those things."

Below, a clip from "Breakfast at Tiffany's" we think makes for a fitting memorial:

Source: Variety.com (subscription required)

After the jump, a little of that signature Edwards humor:

By Liz Kelly  | December 16, 2010; 12:43 PM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Obits  | Tags:  Blake Edwards  
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Comments

RIP, Blake. Prayers and peace for Julie Andrews as she says good-bye to her soulmate. The world has lost a genius.

Posted by: lin1945 | December 16, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Julie Andrews was actually in "10" also. They were a great team.

Posted by: socaloralpleazer | December 16, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

If he had only created Peter Gunn, we would be still be in his debt. Peter was the epitome of style and wit in the detective genre.

Posted by: hlabadie | December 16, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I am Chief Inspector Clouseau of the Surete, a deputized officer of the leu.

The leuuuuu??

Posted by: bs2004 | December 16, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"Days of Wine and Roses" too? Hadn't realized that. Condolences to Julie and their family and friends.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | December 16, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Blake Edwards will always have a footprint in Hollywood. I became familiar with his work back in the days of SuperTV (old school). I still remember "Hollywood SOB" playing multiple times like it was the only movie they had. RIP and peace and goodwill to the family.

Posted by: zack9633 | December 16, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Aw man. So sad. What a great couple.

Then Liz had to go mention Ann Bancroft and Mel Brooks in the chat and I got all verklempt. They used to have lunch often at a restaurant near my office and I simply marveled at how much they clearly enjoyed each other's company--totally and delightedly engaged with each other as if the rest of the world didn't exist. I used to think "Now THAT is a marriage made in heaven." Poor Mel.

Posted by: sorcerers_cat | December 16, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

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