William Blake Crump, better known as Blake Edwards (July 26, 1922 – December 15, 2010), was an American director and screenwriter.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he grew up as the stepson of Hollywood production manager Jack McEdward (who was the son of silent film director J. Gordon Edwards). Edwards's first contribution to film history was as a bit-part actor in numerous films between 1942 and 1948.
Edwards co-authored screenplays for and co-produced the B-Westerns Panhandle (1948) and Stampede (1949). Around this time, he began to write scripts for and occasionally direct episodes of Radio Dramas such as Richard Diamond: Private Detective, and continued this type of work in television in the 1950s, where he was most successful as the creator of Peter Gunn. Edwards worked as a screenwriter on seven films directed by Richard Quine between 1952 and 1962.
Edwards started directing movies in the mid-1950s, and became best known as a director of comedy and/or suspense.
Films directed by Blake Edwards:
- Bring Your Smile Along (1955)
- He Laughed Last (1956)
- Mister Cory (1957) — "the first film of any consequence" Edwards directed, according to himself
- This Happy Feeling (1958)
- The Perfect Furlough (1959)
- Operation Petticoat (1959)
- High Time (1960)
- Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
- Experiment in Terror (1962)
- Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
- The Pink Panther series:
- The Pink Panther (1963)
- A Shot in the Dark (1964)
- The Return of the Pink Panther (1975)
- The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)
- Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978)
- Trail of the Pink Panther (1982)
- Curse of the Pink Panther (1983)
- Son of the Pink Panther (1993) - final film of both Edwards and his longtime friend/collaborator Henry Mancini.
- The Great Race (1965)
- What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966)
- Gunn (1967)
- The Party (1968)
- Darling Lili (1970)
- Wild Rovers (1971)
- The Carey Treatment (1972)
- The Tamarind Seed (1974) — produced in Britain
- 10 (1979)
- S.O.B. (1981)
- Victor/Victoria (1982)
- The Man Who Loved Women (1983)
- Micki & Maude (1984)
- A Fine Mess (1986)
- That's Life! (1986)
- Blind Date (1987)
- Sunset (1988)
- Skin Deep (1989)
- Switch (1991)
Tropes associated with Blake Edwards:
- Associated Composer: Henry Mancini first worked with Edwards on Operation Petticoat, and went on to score all but four of his remaining films.
- Creator In-Joke: He cast his doctor Herb Tanney in small roles in a bunch of his films, then credited him with a different first name in each film that always began with an S and usually had some relation to his role. One example is S.O.B., where he played a jogger who suffered a fatal heart attack on the beach, and was credited as Stiffe Tanney.
- Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: Alternated between comedy and drama early on, but after The Return of the Pink Panther he stuck to comedies for the remainder of his career.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He made six films with Peter Sellers, but they had a very chaotic relationship. Sellers was a perfectionistic Cloudcuckoolander, Edwards was pragmatic but also had an impulsive streak. After each film they'd both swear that they'd never work with each other again.
- That Reminds Me of a Song: A good chunk of his comedies have stand-alone song sequences (sometimes several), and he directed two full-fledged musicals (Darling Lili and Victor/Victoria).
- Write What You Know: Many of his films have The Alcoholic Womanizer, basically an Author Avatar.