Writer and director Blake Edwards was best known for helming the "Pink Panther" comedies of the 1960s and 1970s, but his contributions to entertainment stretched far beyond those wildly popular slapstick tales of the bumbling Inspector Clouseau. He made a name for himself as a "modern cinema" original by combining a colorful visual style with a knack for layered jokes and subtle blend of high and low humor in films like "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961) and "A Shot in the Dark" (1964), and as the creator of the stylish detective series "Peter Gunn" (NBC, 1958-1960, ABC, 1961). A career-long collaboration with composer Henry Mancini's playful compositions became a crucial element in this creative vision. During the 1970s and 1980s, Edwards balanced his ongoing "Pink Panther" releases with more personal, dramatic material that explored the lives of aging artists and society's evolving sexual conventions, best exemplified in his 1979 hit, "10." Only a handful of Edwards' 39 films were hailed with Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy nominations, but ongoing creative disputes with studio executives compromised what might have been an even larger body of revered work. Misfires notwithstanding, Edwards earned enormous respect among the film industry and his comedies remained popular for generations.