Best known for films Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Days of Wine and Roses (1962), The Pink Panther (1963) and its sequels, and 10 (1979), writer and film director Edwards was born William Blake McEdwards on July 26, 1922, into a "film family" at Tulsa, Oklahoma. His grandfather, J. Gordon Edwards, was a silent screen director, and his stepfather, Jack McEdwards, was a production manager who often used Blake as a movie extra. Edwards graduated from Beverly Hills High School. After several minor acting parts, he had his first and last starring role in Western Panhandle (1948), which he co-wrote and produced. Subsequently, he turned his attention to writing several Hollywood music scripts and scripts for television in the 1950s.
After co-creating a TV sitcom for Mickey Rooney, Hey Mulligan (1954-55), Edwards garnered his first film director job with Bring Your Smile Along (1955). His first hit film, Operation Petticoat (1959), a comedy set on a submarine, established him as an important director with commercial credibility and launched a successful career that lasted into the 1990s. In 1969 he married Julie Andrews, whom he directed in S.O.B. (1981), 10, Victor/Victoria (1982), and That's Life (1986).
Blake Edwards died on December 15, 2010.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Leonard Maltin, Spencer Green, and Luke Sader, Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia (New York: Penguin Books, 1994). Thomas Nicholas, The International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers (Chicago: St. James Press, 1991). David Thomson, A Biographical Dictionary of Film (3rd ed.; New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994).
Hugh W. Foley, Jr.
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