Film Industry Role: Screenwriter
Major Works: Tucker: The Man and His Dream (Francis Ford Coppola, 1988), The King's Speech (Tom Hooper, 2010)
Major Awards and Nominations: Winner of the BAFTA and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (2011)
A Londoner by birth, after the Seidler family's apartment was bombed during the Blitz in World War II, writer David Seidler developed a profound childhood stutter. As a result, George VI, the stammering King who had to speak, became a boyhood hero, role model, and inspiration.
Growing up in Long Island, New York, before his film career David attended Cornell University, where he graduated with a A.B. in English in 1959.
Seidler arrived in Hollywood at the age of 40, and his first job there was writing “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” for Francis Ford Coppola. For some years he was a member of the Feather & Seidler writing team with Jacqueline Feather, with whom he wrote “Onassis: The Richest Man in the World” (Writers Guild of America Award winner).
Always wanting to write about George VI, Seidler started researching and after finding the surviving son of Lionel Logue, Dr. Valentine Logue, he wrote him in 1981. In turn, Logue was keen to talk with Seidler and even share the notebooks his father kept while treating the King, but on the condition that he received written permission from the Queen Mother first. Upon writing to her, Seidler received a reply from her private secretary, asking him not to pursue the project during her lifetime. Consequently, Seidler abandoned the project in 1982.
The Queen Mother died in 2002, but Seidler didn't start the work until 2005. Eventually he wrote the first draft of his screenplay, and his then-wife and writing partner suggested that he rewrite it as a stage play, as an exercise, so that the "physical confines of the stage would force him to focus on the key relationships in the story".
In 2010 he finished his work on the film “The King’s Speech” (directed by Tom Hooper), for which received around 30 nominations and won 14 awards, including both the Academy Award and the BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay.