R.I.P. Blake Edwards

Edwards on the set of Revenge of the Pink Panther in 1978.
Edwards on the set of Revenge of the Pink Panther in 1978.

Blake Edwards, perhaps best known for directing Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Pink Panther died in Santa Monica, California, Wednesday night due to complications from pneumonia, according to his publicist in the New York Times. Edwards is survived by his wife, actress Julie Andrews, who appeared in many of his films, along with five children. He was 88.

Though Edwards was best known for orchestrating slapstick comedy on the big screen, like the stumble-bum, peeping-Tom antics of Dudley Moore in the 1979 box-office smash 10 (best known for Bo Derek and her slow-mo gold bikini-clad trot), we decided a top-five list was in order to honor his hilarious, if dark antics off the screen. (We'll credit both he and Andrews with the antics in #3.)

5. During WW2, after a night of partying, Edwards dove drunk into the shallow end of a swimming pool and, as a result, spent five months at the Long Beach Naval Hospital.

4. Suffering from depression, Edwards told the New York Times in 2001 that he once decided to slit his wrists on the beach at Malibu. He took his dog along, who proved distracting. Edwards threw a ball in an attempt to stop the dog from licking him, dropping his razor and dislocating his shoulder. Attempting to retrieve the razor, he stepped on it and ended up in the emergency room.

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3. At a party, he described future wife Julie Andrews to revelers as being so sweet she probably had "lilacs for pubic hair." Andrews was so amused by this remark she later sent him a lilac plant.

2. Picking up an Oscar from presenter Jim Carrey while operating a speedy wheelchair, Edwards then crashed into the set during his acceptance of the 2004 Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement. "That felt good," he said, dusting himself off afterward and smiling.

1. In the same ceremony, he dedicated his award, in part, to a man who used to shovel elephant shit during his film The Party, while singing "There's No Business Like Show Business." "To everyone from the little guy with the shovel, to the Academy, I thank you," he said.

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