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Remembering Blake Edwards

"You can always tell what kind of a person a man thinks you are by the earrings he gives you. I must say, the mind reels!"

That was Audrey Hepburn in her most iconic role -- Holly Golightly, the chic but slightly shady heroine of "Breakfast at Tiffany's," directed by Blake Edwards.

Mr. Edwards died last week, leaving his wife, Julie Andrews and five children. Had Mr. Edwards directed only "Breakfast at Tiffany's," he'd still have a place in film history, given the commercial and pop culture success of that movie. (Audrey in her little black dress sets the standard for elfin elegance, even today.)

But of course, Mr. Edwards had many successes to his credit, including the famous collaboration with Peter Sellers on the "Pink Panther" movies, stark drama such as "Experiment in Terror" and "Days of Wine and Roses," and the cross-dressing classic "Victor/Victoria" -- a smash hit that garnered Oscar nominations for his wife, Miss Andrews; for Lesley Ann Warren as the perpetually shrieking and frustrated showgirl; and for Robert Preston, as "Toddy," the gay nightclub owner.)

Director Edwards elevated Bo Derek and her cornrows to instant (if relatively fleeting) international fame in "10" and stuck it to Hollywood in "S.O.B," in which he persuaded Julie Andrews to bare her pert, perfect breasts.

In fact, "S.O.B" came about because of another Blake Edwards/Julie Andrews movie, 1970's "Darling Lili." This musical, co-starring Rock Hudson, was charming, if rather lengthy. (And hugely expensive.) It turned out to be a great big flop, and pretty much put the kibosh on Julie's days as a major box office star -- which were already teetering. The magnetic pull of her wholesome image peaked with "The Sound of Music." Times had changed.

Industry reaction to the film -- and to Edwards himself -- was so brutally negative that the director vowed to show up the money-mad phonies in Hollywood and wrote a script based on his own bitter experiences after the failure of "Darling Lili." "S.O.B." was a hit, and probably Blake Edwards' wittiest film.

On Monday, Turner Classic Movies will pay tribute to Blake's career, running six of his movies consecutively. Our condolences to his children and to his divine, and incredibly devoted wife of 41 years, Miss Andrews. (In real life, Julie has a salty tongue and a strong personality. One criticized her husband's films at one's peril.)

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The box-office lure of Vanessa Redgrave, James Earl Jones and Boyd Gaines has encouraged the producers of the Broadway revival "Driving Miss Daisy" to extend the show through April 9. The show's producers said the overwhelming response to the show has exceeded their expectations.

And playwright Alfred Uhry remarked that this production and cast have been "a dream."

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Oh, dear! Recently we remarked on the civil and scandal-free upcoming divorce of Scarlett Johannson and Ryan Reynolds. Now there are rumors that Mr. Reynolds had a fling with his "Green Lantern" co-star Blake Lively. No comment from any of the parties, natch. It's just none of our business.

Scarlett is resting in Jamacia, at an ultra-exclusive resort, with several girlfriends. All very "Sex and the City."

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