Pink Panther Legend Edward Blake Dies, Aged 88
The creator of the Pink Panther died of pneumonia complications, after spending two weeks at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica for treatment, according to his publicist. At the time of his death, his wife Julie Andrews, 75, and other relatives were by his side.
Edwards was also having trouble having to deal with knee aches in the past years, as he went through several difficult operations that left him bound to a wheel chair, according to Gene Schawm, Edward’s press representative. “His heart was as big as his talent”, Mr. Gene added.
In spite of his condition, at the time he passed away Edwards was working on two Broadway musicals – on of them based on the Pink Panther series and another one, entitled Big Rosemary, was supposed to be a genuine comedy around the subject of the Prohibition in the United States.
Well known for his smart lines, his irony and humor, Edwards worked with some of the legendary actors throughout his career: Jack Lemmon, Audrey Hepburn, Peter Sellers and Julie Andrews – with whom he had been married for 42 years and whom he casted and directed in a many films.
Best known for directing great films like The Pink Panther, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Victor/Victoria and 10, Blake Edwards never won an Academy Award for any of his movies, but received, however, an honorary Oscar for his extraordinary work, in 2004.
Blake Edwards was known to be one of the most successful masters of comedy. He was born July 26, 1922 in Tulsa, Oklahoma and started a career in acting. After starring in over 30 films, he became a TV scriptwriter and, eventually, a director. His first hit as a director was the 1959 film Operation Petticoat, which casted Cary Grant and Tony Curtis. Later, he adapted Truman Capote’s Breakfast At Tiffany’s – the classic that turned Audrey Hepburn into a great legend and inspired many other artists in different fields.
The next memorable project he created was in 1963, along with the appearance of the classic characters in the comedy The Pink Panther.
His last major hit was musical Victor/Victoria in 1982, a comedy starring Julie Andrews in the role of a woman pretending to be a man.
Blake and Julie were married in 1969 and had five children. He worked with her in many of the films he directed, including 10, Darling Lili or the autobiographical satire S.O.B., where Julie Andrews portrays a caricature of herself.
The stage adaptation of Victor/Victoria was based on the book that Edwards wrote.
The documentary I Remember Me shows part of his problems with the chronic fatigue syndrome, which he had to fight for 15 years.11