Remembering: Blake Edwards and Neva Patterson

The classic movie world sadly lost two players this week: director Blake Edwards and actress Neva Patterson.

Blake Edwards is best known as a deft director of comedies such as 1959’s delightful Operation Petticoat and The Pink Panther series (beginning with the eponymous film in 1963), which introduced the world to the bumbling Inspector Clouseau, and dramas such as 1962’s Audrey Hepburn vehicle Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the alcoholic drama Days of Wine and Roses (1962). He began his career as a scriptwriter, his first major production being Orson Welles’ infamous 1938 radio broadcast of War of the Worlds.

The prolific Edwards was also noted for his collaborations with second wife Julie Andrews, with Darling Lili (1969), 10 (1979), and Victor/Victoria (1982) among them. Their marriage lasted for more than forty years. He passed away on Wednesday after a debilitating bout with pneumonia at the age of 88.

Neva Patterson was perhaps best known to audiences for the role of Cary Grant’s jilted fiance, Lois, in the 1957 weepie An Affair to Remember. She also starred with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn in their penultimate film, Desk Set (1957) and appeared in a minor role in 1976’s All the President’s Men. Much of her work, however, was in numerous guest appearances on television shows. Patterson was a presence on the airwaves from the early days of television through the early 90s. Her roles including a notable part as Eleanor Dupres in the two V miniseries in 1983 and 1984 (which inspired the current television incarnation). Patterson suffered a broken hip and passed away on Tuesday at the age of 90.

One thought on “Remembering: Blake Edwards and Neva Patterson

  1. I’ll miss Blake Edwards. As you noted, he was very versatile. One of my favorites of his was the seldom-shown Tony Curtis movie MR. CORY. But my favorite Blake pic is easily A SHOT IN THE DARK. Injecting Clouseau seamlessly into a existing stage play was genius.

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