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Bye-bye, Blake

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CFN pauses to
shed a tear — yes, even we have a heart — at the passing of legendary
film director Blake Edwards. Arguably best known for birthing the “Pink
Panther” franchise with Peter Sellers, the filmmaker hails from Tulsa,
where he was born in 1922.

He died Dec. 15 at the age of 88 in California, from complications of pneumonia.

Given
an honorary Academy Award in 2004 for his body of work as a director,
screenwriter and producer, Edwards helmed many successful comedies
outside of the “Pink Panther” pictures, including “Breakfast at
Tiffany’s” starring Audrey Hepburn; “10,” which made Bo Derek a sex
symbol; and “Victor/Victoria,” which starred his wife, Julie Andrews.

The
pair made headlines in 1981 when his Hollywood satire “S.O.B.” featured
Andrews — until then known for her squeaky-clean “Mary Poppins” rep —
in a topless scene.

His last box-office hit as director
arrived in 1987 with “Blind Date,” starring Bruce Willis and Kim
Basinger. Later efforts, such as John Ritter in “Skin Deep” and Ellen
Barkin in “Switch,” proved unsuccessful with critics and audiences.

Edwards
occasionally worked in other genres, including drama (“Days of Wine and
Roses”), thrillers (“Experiment in Terror”) and mystery (TV’s “Peter
Gunn”).

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