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David Seidler, Oscar-Winning ‘The King’s Speech’ Writer, Dies at 86

David Seidler, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind 2010’s The King’s Speech, has died. He was 86.

The London native died Saturday during a fly-fishing trip in New Zealand, his manager, Jeff Aghassi, told The Hollywood Reporter.

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“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. “If given the chance, it is exactly as he would have scripted it.”

The King’s Speech told the true story of King George VI (Colin Firth) who overcame his severe stutter with the help of Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). When George’s brother abdicated the throne in 1936, Logue helped the king prepare for his first wartime radio message after the start of World War II.

Seidler’s script was motivated by his experience overcoming a stutter as a child. He won an Oscar for original screenplay at the 2011 Academy Awards, and the film also won best actor for Firth, best director for Tom Hooper and best picture.

The film was also adapted into a play that has since been performed on four different continents, including at London’s West End.

Seidler’s other writing included Francis Ford Coppola’s Tucker: The Man and his Dream (1988), animated children’s features Madeline: Lost in Paris (1999) and Quest for Camelot (1998). He also wrote 2016’s The Queen of Spades and the 1988 telefilm Onasiss: The Richest Man in the World (1988).

Per Aghassi, Seidler had remained passionate about screenwriting and had multiple documentaries, limited series and feature films in development at the time of his death.

Seidler is survived by his children, Marc and Maya.

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