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David Seidler, ‘The King’s Speech’ Screenwriter, Dies at 86

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

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

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Seidler won the Academy Award for best original screenplay for 2010’s “The King’s Speech,” directed by Tom Hooper and starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter. The historical drama also went on to win best picture, best director and best actor.

The stage version of “The King’s Speech” has been translated to more than a half-dozen languages and has been performed on four continents. After being staged at the Wyndham’s Theatre on London’s West End in 2012, the play was supposed to head to Broadway, but was cut short in 2020 by the COVID pandemic.

Seidler wrote multiple TV movies, including “Onassis: The Richest Man in the World” (1988), “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” (1988), “Whose Child Is This? The War for Baby Jessica” (1993), “Dancing in the Dark” (1995), “Come on, Get Happy: The Partridge Family Story” (1999) and “By Dawn’s Early Light” (2001). He also wrote episodes for such series as “Adventures of the Seaspray,” “Days of Our Lives,” “Another World,” “General Hospital,” “The Wonderful World of Disney” and “Son of the Dragon.”

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

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