Studio backlots became his playground after his mother married Hollywood production manager Jack McEdwards. His step-grandfather was J. Gordon Edwards, a director in the silent-screen era.
Served in the Coast Guard during World War II.
Created the Emmy-nominated detective series Peter Gunn (1958-61).
Although mostly known for comedies, he directed the drama Days of Wine and Roses, about an alcoholic couple; the experience motivated him and the film's star Jack Lemmon to begin alcohol-recovery programs.
While filming The Pink Panther, he and star Peter Sellers vowed never to work together again. They made up and reteamed on The Party and four more Pink Panther films.
Adapted and directed his musical-comedy film Victor/Victoria for Broadway; wife Julie Andrews starred in both versions.
2003, Oscar — Honorary Award: Winner
1959, Emmy — Best Direction of a Single Program of a Dramatic Series-Under One Hour: Nominee