US filmmaker Blake Edwards, best known for directing Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Pink Panther, has died aged 88.
Edwards died of complications from pneumonia on Wednesday at St John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, southern California, his publicist Gene Schwam said on Thursday. His wife, the actress Julie Andrews, and other members of his family were at his side, Schwam added.
Edwards, who was also a screenwriter, producer and actor, received a lifetime achievement award at the 2004 Academy Awards.
Many of Edwards’ films were box office hits and he was twice nominated for an Oscar, in 1982 for writing the adapted screenplay of Victor/Victoria, and in 1983 for co-writing The Man Who Loved Women. Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961 established him as a stylish director who could combine comedy with bittersweet romance.
His career waned in the mid 1970s with Pink Panther sequels his only box office successes. Then in 1979 came the sex comedy 10, which made Bo Derek a star and restored the director’s reputation.
Edwards had knee problems and had been “pretty much confined to a wheelchair for the last year-and-a-half or two,” Schwam said.
He had been receiving treatment in hospital for two weeks before his death, the publicist added.
At the time of his death, Edwards was working on two Broadway musicals, one based on the Pink Panther films.
Andrews and Edwards married in 1969. They both had children from previous marriages and they adopted two Vietnamese children, Amy and Jo.