Blake Edwards, the director and writer known for clever dialogue, poignance, and occasional belly-laugh sight gags in Breakfast at Tiffany's, 10, and the Pink Panther farces, is dead at age 88. Edwards died from complications of pneumonia, with wife Julie Andrews and other family members at his side. A third-generation filmmaker, Edwards was praised for evoking classic performances from Jack Lemmon, Audrey Hepburn, Peter Sellers, Dudley Moore, Lee Remick, and Andrews, his wife of nearly half a century.
He directed and often wrote a wide variety of movies including Days of Wine and Roses, a harrowing story of alcoholism; The Great Race, a comedy-adventure that starred Lemmon, Tony Curtis, and Natalie Wood; and Victor/Victoria, his gender-bender musical comedy with Andrews. He was also known for an independent spirit that brought clashes with studio bosses. He vented his disdain for the Hollywood system in his 1981 black comedy, S.O.B.