Blake Edwards to Receive Honorary Academy AwardŽ
By Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Jan 7, 2004, 07:10

Beverly Hills, CA - Filmmaker Blake Edwards has been selected to receive an Honorary Award by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Award, an OscarŽ statuette, will be presented at the 76th Academy Awards on February 29. The Honorary Award will be given to Edwards to honor his "extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement." The citation will read: "In recognition of his writing, directing and producing an extraordinary body of work for the screen."

"For more than 50 years, Edwards has had an extraordinary career writing, directing and producing mainly his own material," said Academy President Frank Pierson. "And that puts him in a select and very small group of outstanding film makers."

The son of a production manager and the grandson of a silent screen director, Edwards began his career in films as an actor, with "Ten Gentlemen from West Point" in 1942. He wrote his first film, "Panhandle" (which he also produced) in 1948, and debuted as a director with the television series "Four Star Playhouse" in 1952.

Edwards has been a prolific writer, director and producer and his films have run the gamut from the high drama of "Days of Wine and Roses" to the urban sophistication of "Breakfast at Tiffany's," and "Victor/Victoria" to the imperishable slapstick comedy of the series of Pink Panther movies, "A Shot in the Dark," "The Party," "10" and the satirical Hollywood black comedy "S.O.B."

His nearly 50 films also include such memorable titles as "The Great Race," "Operation Petticoat," "Darling Lili," "Experiment in Terror," "Wild Rovers," "Mr. Cory" and "What Did You do in the War Daddy?"

Edwards received his only Academy Award nomination in 1982 for his screenplay of "Victor/Victoria," which starred his wife, Julie Andrews

Previous recipients of Honorary Awards over the Academy's 75-year history include Louis B. Mayer, Gene Kelly, Harold Lloyd, Greta Garbo, Jerome Robbins, Satyajit Ray and Chuck Jones. The award went last year to Peter O'Toole.

Edwards Honorary Award will be presented, along with other Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2003, on Sunday, February 29, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & HighlandŽ. The Oscars will be televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 5:00 p.m. PST (8 p.m. EST) with a half-hour arrival segment preceding the presentation ceremony.

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