Oscar-winning screenwriter behind The King’s Speech dies – reports

David Seidler – best known as the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind the film The King’s Speech – has died at the age of 86, according to reports.

The London-born screenwriter, who had a stammer as a child, was inspired to write about the true story of how King George VI, on the eve of the Second World War, overcame his speech impediment.

Seidler died on Saturday during a fly-fishing trip in New Zealand, according to his manager Jeff Aghassi – US media reported.

Mr 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.”

Seidler won the Oscar and BAFTA awards for best original screenplay for the 2010 film The King’s Speech.

“I accept this on behalf of all the stutterers throughout the world. We have a voice, we have been heard,” he said, when collecting his Oscar at the 2011 Academy Awards.

The historical drama starred Colin Firth, who also won the Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of the king.

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

Colin Firth as King George VI.
Pic: Weinstein/Everett/Shutterstock
Colin Firth as King George VI in The King’s Speech. Pic: Weinstein/Everett/Shutterstock

His other work included the 1988 biopic Onassis: The Richest Man In The World – starring Raul Julia as the Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis – for which Seidler won his first Writers Guild award.

The same year Seidler co-wrote Francis Ford Coppola’s comedy drama Tucker: The Man And His Dream.

Other projects included writing for the animated children’s musicals The King And I, Quest For Camelot and Madeline: Lost in Paris.

He is survived by his two adult children, Marc and Maya.

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