Oscar-winning King’s Speech screenwriter David Seidler passes away

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By journalsofus.com

  • by Thomas Mackintosh
  • BBC News

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image Caption,

David Seidler won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for The King’s Speech in 2011

David Seidler, best known for writing the Oscar-winning film The King’s Speech, has died at the age of 86.

The London-born screenwriter, who suffered from stuttering, brought the true story of King George VI overcoming his speech impediment to the big screen.

The 2010 film starred Colin Firth, who also won a Best Actor BAFTA and an Oscar for his portrayal of the King.

Seidler was also behind the stage adaptation of the film, which opened in the West End in 2012.

He dedicated his 2011 Oscar to “all the stutterers around the world” – and at the time thanked the Queen for “not putting me in the tower for using the F word”.

Seidler’s manager Jeff Aghasi confirmed to the BBC that he died on Saturday.

“David was in the place he loved most in the world – New Zealand – where he found the most peace, fly fishing,” Mr Aghasi said.

“If given the chance, it would be exactly as he had written the script.”

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David Seidler (fifth from left) stands next to actors including Colin Firth (third from left) at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in January 2011.

During his career Seidler wrote other projects including the animated children’s musical The King and I, Quest for Camelot and Madeline: Lost in Paris.

Seidler won his first Writers Guild Award for the 1988 biopic Onassis: The Richest Man in the World, in which Raul Julia played Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.

He also co-wrote Francis Ford Coppola’s 1988 comedy drama Tucker: The Man and His Dream.

But the King’s Speech was the one for which he was best known. The plot follows King George VI’s overcoming of his severe stutter and his unlikely friendship with speech therapist Lionel Logue in the lead up to the Second World War.

Seidler received two BAFTA awards in February 2011 and months later in September he won a Humanitas Award for his work.

Mr Aghasi said the West End stage version of The King’s Speech had been translated into “more than half a dozen languages”, including Italian, Japanese and Spanish.

It has been performed on four continents – its production on Broadway was only cut short in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“David focused on the lessons of life, love, loss and rebirth,” Mr. Aghasi said.

“He continued to work on ideas that interested him, and at the time of his death he had several projects in active development, including documentaries, limited series, and feature films.”

Additional reporting by Aruna Iyengar

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