David Seidler: Oscar-winning 'The King's Speech' screenwriter dies aged 86

David Seidler poses backstage with the Oscar for best original screenplay for 'The King's Speech' at the 83rd Academy Awards - 2011
David Seidler poses backstage with the Oscar for best original screenplay for 'The King's Speech' at the 83rd Academy Awards - 2011 Copyright AP Photo/Matt Sayles
By David MouriquandAgencies
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Best known for his screenplay for the Oscar-winning film 'The King's Speech', Seidler - who grew up with a stammer - dedicated his 2011 Oscar to "all the stutterers around the world."

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David Seidler, best known for his Oscar and BAFTA-winning screenplay for the 2010 historical drama The King’s Speech, has died aged 86.

According to his manager, Jeff Aghassi, Seidler died on Saturday (16 March) during a fly-fishing trip in New Zealand,

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

The London-born screenwriter, who grew up with a stammer, was inspired to write about the true story of how King George VI overcame his speech impediment with a speech and language therapist. The King’s Speech starred Colin Firth, who also won the Best Actor BAFTA and Oscar for his depiction of the King George VI.

Seidler dedicated his 2011 Oscar to "all the stutterers around the world" - and thanked the Queen for "not putting me in the Tower for using the F-word".

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

Throughout his career Seidler wrote on projects including the animated children's musicals 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 starring Raul Julia as the Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. He also co-wrote Francis Ford Coppola's 1988 biographical comedy Tucker: The Man And His Dream, which starred Jeff Bridges as American automobile entrepreneur and inventor Preston Tucker.

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