‘The King’s Speech’ screenwriter David Seidler dead at 86
‘The King’s Speech’ screenwriter David Seidler dead at 86

Oscar-winning screenwriter of The King’s Speech, David Seidler, died at 86 on Saturday while he was on a fly-fishing expedition in New Zealand.

Seidler’s longtime manager Jeff Aghassi broke the news.

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

The London-born screenwriter, who had a stammer growing up, was inspired to write about the true story of how King George VI overcame his speech impediment with a speech and language therapist.

Seidler won the Oscar and Bafta award for best original screenplay for the 2010 historical drama.

Directed by Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech starred Colin Firth, who also won the best actor Bafta and Oscar for his depiction of the king.

Seidler was also behind the stage adaptation of the film, which opened in the West End in 2012. After being staged at the Wyndham’s Theatre, the play was supposed to head to Broadway, but was cut short in 2020 by the COVID pandemic.

The writer was also responsible for a plethora of projects, including the animated children’s musicals The King and I, Quest for Camelot and Madeline: Lost in Paris.

Seidler is survived by his adult children, Marc and Maya.

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