Oscar Winner David Seidler Dead at 86

Oscar Winner David Seidler Dead at 86

David Seidler, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind The King’s Speech, has died. The London-born screenwriter passed away on Saturday, March 16 while on a fly-fishing expedition in New Zealand, according to his manager Jeff Aghassi. He was 86. A cause of death was not disclosed.

“David was in the place he loved most in the world – New Zealand – doing what gave him the greatest peace which was fly-fishing,” Aghassi said in a statement shared with Deadline. “If given the chance, it is exactly as he would have scripted it.”

(Photo: Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

Born in 1937, Seidler moved to the US in the early days of World War II and the London Blitz. While attending Cornell University, he became friends with the American writer Thomas Pynchon, according to the Los Angeles Times. His earliest credits in entertainment included writing Japanese monster movie translation dubs. He went on to break into TV with the 1960s series Adventures of the Seaspray, eventually going on to write other projects including the animated children’s musicals The King And I, Quest For Camelot, and Madeline: Lost in Paris.

After winning his first Writers Guild award for the 1988 biopic Onassis: The Richest Man In The World, Siedler went on to score numerous accolades decades later for his work on 2010’s The King’s Speech. Set during the lead-up to World War II, the historical drama film stars Colin Firth as King George VI, who in an effort to overcome his severe stutter begins to see Lionel Logue, an Australian speech and language therapist played by Geoffrey Rush. The King’s Speech went on to win best picture, best director, and best actor at the Oscars, with Seidler receiving two Bafta awards and a Humanitas Prize for his work. The West End stage version of The King’s Speech was translated to more than a half-dozen languages and has been performed on four continents.

Throughout his career, Seidler wrote episodes for series including Adventures of the Seaspray, Days of Our Lives, Another World, General Hospital, The Wonderful World of Disney, and Son of the Dragon. He also wrote TV movies such as Onassis: The Richest Man in the World (1988), Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988), Whose Child Is This? The War for Baby Jessica (1993), Dancing in the Dark (1995), Come on, Get Happy: The Partridge Family Story (1999), and By Dawn’s Early Light (2001). He is survived by his adult children, Marc and Maya.


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