December 16th, 2010
05:47 PM ET
On the same day as the Screen Actors Guild nominations, Hollywood is honoring the passing of a director renowned for creating some cinematic gold of his own: Blake Edwards.
The prolific filmmaker, who’s credited with 46 titles, passed away on Wednesday night at the age of 88, his publicist confirmed Thursday. He died of complications from pneumonia with his wife, Julie Andrews, by his side.
Edwards inspired many, not least of all Steve Martin, who recently stepped into the shoes of Insp. Jacques Clouseau in the new “Pink Panther” series, a reboot of the movies originally directed by Edwards.
“Blake Edwards was one of the people who made me love comedy,” Martin wrote on Twitter. “Sorry to hear of his passing.”
Rosario Dawson, who announced the SAG nominations Thursday morning along with Angie Harmon, chimed in via Twitter as well. “The talented #BlakeEdwards has left the building at 88 yrs of age. #RIPBlakeEdwards My condolences to Julie Andrews, family & friends,” she wrote.
While some stars, like actress Kristin Chenoweth and "Superbad" director Greg Mottola, opted for a simple "R.I.P.," Kevin Smith added via Twitter that he “had the pleasure of (kinda) dealing with Blake Edwards this year, in fact. He did us a real Gretzky on #CopOut.”
It turns out that the title of Smith’s film “Cop Out” was already registered to one Blake Edwards, who didn’t want to turn it over to the studio because of a little beef he had, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Luckily for Smith, the father of his first assistant director on "Cop Out" knew Edwards, and when Smith found out his assistant's dad had dinner plans with the venerated comedy director, he took action.
"I got on the phone with Mr. Pitt and said, 'Would you please pass along to Mr. Edwards that ‘S.O.B’ is my sixth favorite movie of all time and that ‘Victor/Victoria’ is in my top 25 and if there was any way that he would help out a fellow filmmaker and save him from being stuck with a lame title, I'd really appreciate it.'"
Smith’s plan worked, and Edwards turned over the title.
"It was a huge save for us," Smith told the L.A. Times. "He's not just a great filmmaker, but he's a class act too."
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