'Panther' scribe to receive Screen Laurel Award

HOLLYWOOD — Blake Edwards, whose comedy scripting career includes the “Pink Panther” films, “10″ and “Victor/Victoria,” has been tapped to receive the Screen Laurel Award from the Writers Guild of America West.

The presentation has been set for the WGA’s March 2 ceremonies, held simultaneously at the Beverly Hills Hilton and the Pierre Hotel in Gotham.

“I’m delighted that Blake Edwards is this year’s Screen Laurel recipient,” said WGAW prexy Victoria Riskin. “What could be better, during a time when laughter is so desperately needed, than to honor one of film’s great comic screenwriters?”

Edwards began his career writing scripts for low-budget films such as “Panhandle” (1948) and “Stampede” (1949) as well as radio scripts such as “Richard Diamond, Private Detective.” His work in the 1950s included “My Sister Eileen” and TV shows such as “Four Star Theater,” “Peter Gunn” and “Mr. Lucky.”

Edwards won Writers Guild Awards for “The Pink Panther Strikes Again” (1976) and “Victor/Victoria” (1981) and received noms for “The Pink Panther,” “The Great Race,” “The Return of the Pink Panther,” “10″ and “S.O.B.” He also received an Academy Award nomination for adapted screenplay for “Victor/Victoria” and an Emmy nod for “The Kill,” a “Peter Gunn” episode.

Edwards also received the Preston Sturges Award, given jointly by the WGA West and the Directors Guild of America, in 1993. The only other recipients of the award are Richard Brooks and Billy Wilder.

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