Blake Edwards, best known as the director of the Pink Panther movies, passed away due to complications from pneumonia today at age 88.
He also co-wrote most of those movies, and had a number of other successes under his belt, including Victor/Victoria and the film adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Mr. Edwards worked extensively with the composer Henry Mancini, and The New York Times obituary points out that all four of Mr. Mancini’s Oscars were from scores written for Blake Edwards films.
Here’s a choice paragraph from that obit:
A lifelong depressive, Mr. Edwards told The New York Times in 2001 that at one point his depression was so bad that he became “seriously suicidal.” After deciding that shooting himself would be too messy and drowning too uncertain, he decided to slit his wrists on the beach at Malibu while looking at the ocean. But while he was holding a two-sided razor, his Great Dane started licking his ear, and his retriever, eager for a game of fetch, dropped a ball in his lap. Attempting to get the dog to go away, Mr. Edwards threw the ball, dropped the razor and dislocated his shoulder. “So I think to myself,” he said, “this just isn’t a day to commit suicide.” Trying to retrieve the razor, he stepped on it and ended up in the emergency room.