Blake Edwards dies at 88; directed 'Pink Panther' series
Update: The full obituary can be found here.
Blake Edwards, 88, a prolific filmmaker who kept alive the tradition of slapstick comedy in his Pink Panther franchise and nimbly showcased his dramatic range with "Breakfast at Tiffany's," died of pneumonia Wednesday at a hospital in Santa Monica.
In a six-decade career that rejected easy categorization, Mr. Edwards received an honorary Academy Award in 2004 for "writing, directing and producing an extraordinary body of work."
Some of his best-known films included the sophisticated romance "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961) with Audrey Hepburn, the bleak story of a couple in an alcoholic spiral in "Days of Wine and Roses" (1962) starring Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick, and the taut manhunt story "Experiment in Terror" (1962) with Remick and Glenn Ford.
The Panther series, which began in 1964 with "The Pink Panther" and "A Shot in the Dark," brought Mr. Edwards his most devoted following.
The films's inspired lunacy owed a great deal to actor Peter Sellers, who played the unbearably snobbish, pompous and incompetent French police inspector Jacques Clouseau.
The films were crammed with one-liners of vaudeville vintage. Sellers, playing Clouseau, leans down to pet a dog and asks its presumptive owner, "Does your dog bite?"
When Clouseau destroys a grand piano, the instrument's incredulous caretaker rebukes him, "Why, that's a priceless Steinway!"
The inspector replies, "Not anymore."
Mr. Edwards was credited with transforming a Truman Capote novella about a cynical call girl into the immensely likable "Breakfast at Tiffany's."
Starring Hepburn, the film became an enduring popular success in large part because of Mr. Edwards's ability to balance the heroine's cynicism toward sex and power with an engaging comic approach that did not alienate audiences.
Please post your memories of the director and his films below.
T. Rees Shapiro
| December 16, 2010; 12:58 PM ET
Categories: Movies, T. Rees Shapiro | Tags: Blake Edwards, Breakfast at Tiffanys, The Pink Panther
Save & Share: Previous: Bob Feller dies at 92; Hall of Famer had wicked fastball
Next: Busy obit day & memories of Bob Feller
Posted by: MarilynManson | December 16, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: thefrontpage | December 16, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: thefrontpage | December 16, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: wydafish | December 16, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: MiriyamGevirtz | December 16, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Sandydayl | December 16, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ikins | December 16, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: drrealitycheck | December 16, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse