American film director, producer, and screenwriter Written By: See Article History Alternative Title: Gordon Edwards, a silent-film director.
Jul 26, Birthplace: Gordon Edwards, director of such silent film epics as The Queen of Sheba Blake started his own film career as an actor in ; he played bits in A-movies and leads in B-movies, paying his dues in such trivialities as Gangs of the Waterfront and Strangler of the Swamp both He turned to writing radio scripts, distinguishing himself on the above-average Blake edwards Powell detective series Richard Diamond.
Given his first chance to direct a movie inEdwards turned out a Richard Quine-like musical, Bring Your Smile Along; ironically, as Edwards' prestige grew, his style would be imitated by Quine. InEdwards produced, directed, and occasionally wrote for a hip TV detective series, Peter Gunn, which was distinguished by its film noir camerawork and driving jazz score by Henry Mancini.
A second series, Mr. Luckycontained many of the elements that made Peter Gunn popular, but suffered from a bad time slot and network interference. Lucky was a gambler, a profession frowned upon by the more sanctimonious CBS executives. The show did, however, introduce Edwards to actor Ross Martin, who later appeared as an asthmatic criminal in Edwards' film Experiment in Terror Continuing to turn out box-office bonanzas like Breakfast at Tiffany's and Days of Wine and RosesEdwards briefly jumped on the comedy bandwagon of the mid-'60s with the slapstick epic The Great Racewhich the director dedicated to his idols, "Mr.
InEdwards introduced the bumbling Inspector Clouseau to an unsuspecting world in The Pink Panther, leading to a string of money-spinning Clouseau films starring Peter Sellers; actually, The Pink Panther was Edwards' second Clouseau movie, since A Shot in the Dark, although released after Panther, was filmed first.
The film was a questionable piece to begin with audiences were asked to sympathize with a German spy who cheerfully sent young British pilots to their deathsbut was made incomprehensible by Paramount's ruthless editing. Darling Lili sent Edwards career into decline, although he came back with the comedy hit 10 and the scabrous satirical film S.
Edwards' track record in the s and '90s was uneven, with such films as Blind DateSunsetand Switch The director was also unsuccessful in his attempts to revive the Pink Panther comedies minus the services of Sellers who had died in as Clouseau.
Still, Edwards always seemed able to find someone to bankroll his projects. And he left something of a legacy to Hollywood through his actress daughter Jennifer Edwards and screenwriter son Geoffrey Edwards. Injust when the world began to think it might never again hear from Edwards, the filmmaker gave a slapsticky acceptance speech in response to an honorary Academy Award.
He died six years later, of complications from pneumonia, at the age of Blake Edwards, Writer: Peter Gunn.
Blake Edwards' stepfather's father J. Gordon Edwards was a silent screen director, and his stepfather Jack McEdward was a stage director and movie production manager. Blake acted in a number films, beginning with Ten Gentlemen from West Point () and wrote a number of others, beginning with Panhandle () and including six for director.
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