The film-maker Blake Edwards, who has died aged 88, will be best remembered as the creator of the Pink Panther films, and as the husband of the entertainer Julie Andrews. But Edwards was a third-generation show-business figure whose complex and controversial career spanned more than 50 years, initially as an actor and writer and subsequently as one of America's most prolific producer-directors, primarily concerned with the popular genres of comedy and musicals and with creating television series.
Despite working in mainstream cinema, his maverick spirit and ego made him an uneasy partner with Hollywood studios. He famously savaged the hand that had fed him so well with S.O.B. (1981), a raucous, vitriolic attack on Tinseltown. His sophisticated work drew strongly on his love of early cinema (his stepgrandfather had directed silent films), and on his own life and psychological problems (he