David Seidler:Writer of the Oscar-winning film The King’s Speech passes away

Renowned screenwriter David Seidler, celebrated for his work on the critically acclaimed film The King’s Speech, passed away at the age of 86.

The screenwriter, originally from London, portrayed the inspiring journey of King George VI as he conquered his speech impediment in a captivating film.

The 2010 film featured Colin Firth in the lead role, for which he received both the best actor Bafta and Oscar awards.

Seidler was also responsible for the stage adaptation of the film, which premiered in the West End in 2012.

He expressed his gratitude during his 2011 Oscar acceptance speech to “all the individuals who struggle with stuttering worldwide” – and also acknowledged the Queen for her understanding and not punishing him for his choice of words.

Seidler’s manager Jeff Aghassi confirmed to the BBC that he passed away on Saturday.

“David found solace in his favorite place on Earth, New Zealand, indulging in his greatest passion – fly fishing,” Mr. Aghassi shared.

“If given the opportunity, it is exactly how he would have planned it.”

Seidler, born in 1937, relocated to the United States during the early stages of World War Two and the London Blitz. During his time at Cornell University, he formed a close friendship with the renowned American writer Thomas Pynchon.

As reported by the LA Times, Seidler’s early ventures in the entertainment industry involved working on translation dubs for Japanese monster movies. He made his mark in television with the popular 1960s series Adventures of the Seaspray.

Seidler also worked on various projects during his career, such as the animated children’s musicals The King And I, Quest For Camelot, and Madeline: Lost in Paris.

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Seidler received his inaugural Writers Guild award for the 1988 biopic Onassis: The Richest Man In The World, featuring Raul Julia in the role of Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

In addition, he collaborated on Francis Ford Coppola’s 1988 comedy drama Tucker: The Man And His Dream.

However, the King’s Speech was his most renowned achievement. The plot revolves around King George VI’s journey to overcome his severe stutter and his unlikely friendship with speech therapist Lionel Logue during the tumultuous period leading up to World War II.

In February 2011, Seidler was honored with two Bafta awards. Several months later, in September, he was also recognized with a Humanitas Prize for his outstanding work.

“I was discussing my personal experiences,” Seidler shared with the BBC during an interview in 2011.

According to Mr. Aghassi, the West End stage adaptation of The King’s Speech has been translated into several languages, including Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.

The production has been staged on four continents, with its run on Broadway being interrupted in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“David’s attention was directed towards the lessons of life, love, loss, and rebirth,” Mr Aghassi mentioned.

“He remained dedicated to pursuing his passions, and up until his passing, he was actively involved in various projects, such as documentaries, limited series, and feature films.”

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