David Seidler Dies: Academy Award-Winning Writer For ‘The King’s Speech’ Was 86

David Seidler Dies: Academy Award-Winning Writer For ‘The King’s Speech’ Was 86

David Seidler, best known for his Academy Award-winning writing on The King’s Speech, died on Saturday, March 16 while on a fly-fishing expedition in New Zealand.  He was 86 and no cause was given.

“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,” said longtime manager Jeff Aghassi. 

Seidler’s The King’s Speech went on to win Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. The film focused on the story of King George VI (Colin Firth) overcoming his severe stutter, and his unexpected friendship with speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) in the lead up to World War II. 

The project, which he also intended as a stage play, was a labor of love for the screenwriter, who had a profound stutter as a child. Seidler also received two BAFTAs and the Humanitas Prize for the work.  

Aghassi said Seidler was a passionate teller of stories – whether it was among friends gathered for a meal, often also cooked by Seidler, or the audiences whose attention he captured through his scripts and plays. 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.

Having previously been performed on the London’s West End, its build-up to Broadway was cut short in 2020 by the COVID pandemic.  

Seidler’s other work included Onasiss: The Richest Man in the World (1988) and Tucker: The Man and his Dream (1988).

He continued to work on ideas that drew his interest, and at the time of his death he had multiple projects in active development, including documentaries, limited series, and feature films.  

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

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