Blake Edwards, the acclaimed American film-maker best known for directing 'The Pink Panther' and the cult classic 'Breakfast at Tiffany's', has died in California aged 88, reports BBC News. Edwards, the husband of actress Julie Andrews, passed away after complications from pneumonia on Wednesday (15th December 2010) at St John's Health Centre in Santa Monica.
The director had been in hospital for the past two weeks receiving treatment and his publicist said that he was surrounded by his wife and family when he died. He added that Edwards had been suffering from knee problems and had been "pretty much confined to a wheelchair for the last year-and-a-half or two". The director never won an ACADEMY AWARD but he was given an honorary OSCAR in 2004 for his "extraordinary body of work". Edwards will be perhaps best remembered for adapting Truman Capote's novel 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' into the smash hit movie starring Audrey Hepburn, however, he was also integral in persuading Peter Sellers to play the lead in his 1963 comedy classic 'The Pink Panther'. Peter Ustinov had originally been cast to play the accident-prone 'Inspector Clouseau', but after dropping out of the project, Edwards managed to coax Sellers into replacing him.
The director, who married Andrews in 1969, had later success with the musical-comedy 'Victor/Victoria', which starred his wife. He is survived by Andrews and his four children, two of which are from his first marriage to PATRICIA WALKER.