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‘King’s Speech’ screenwriter David Seidler dead aged 87

‘The King’s Speech’ screenwriter David Seidler has died aged 87 credit:Bang Showbiz
‘The King’s Speech’ screenwriter David Seidler has died aged 87 credit:Bang Showbiz

‘The King’s Speech’ screenwriter David Seidler has died aged 87.

Oscar-winning David was said on Sunday (17.03.24) to have passed away in New Zealand doing what he most loved – fly-fishing – but no more details of his death were given.

His long-time manager Jeff Aghassi told Deadline: “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.”

David rose to fame after writing the theatre and screen versions of the ‘The King’s Speech’, which won best picture, best director, best actor and best writing at the 2011 Academy Awards.

It followed the story of King George VI – played by 63-year-old Colin Firth – as the monarch as he struggled with a stutter.

David drew on his experience growing up with a stammer from the age of three.

Along with his Oscar, David was honoured with two BAFTAs and the Humanitas Prize for his ‘King’s Speech’ screenplay.

He dedicated his Oscar to “all the stutterers around the world” – and thanked the Queen for “not putting me in the Tower for using the F– word”.

David started research on ‘The King’s Speech’ in 1981 when he discovered the Queen Mother hired Logue, an Australian speech and language therapist, to help her son – played by Geffrey Rush, 72, in the film version.

David told the Daily Mail about asking the Queen Mother for her permission to go ahead with the story: “I wrote and asked her permission to tell the story in a film. But it was still so raw for her – the whole business of having to relive what her husband and her family went through, with the Abdication and him becoming King.

“It was too much and still painful, so she wrote and asked that the film not be made until after her death.”

The Queen Mother died in 2002, but David did not start work on the project until three years later.

Born in London in 1937, David’s family’s apartment in the city was bombed during World War Two, and they were forced to relocate to the countryside before moving to the US.

It was while on board the ship they sailed to America on – which had a sister vessel sank by German submarines during their voyage across the Atlantic Ocean – that David developed his stammer.