The former MGM international publicity director died at his home in Cape Town, South Africa, on Jul 31. He was 84.

Edwards’ son Nicolas, said his death was quite sudden and added that he had been unwell for the past few months.

Born in Sutton-in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, England, on Apr 4 1929, George William Edwards began his film career in London in 1952 at the trade paper Kine Weekly after three years in the Royal Navy and two as a reporter for the Sheffield (England) Star.

He joined MGM in 1961 as a unit publicist and became the studio’s European publicity director, working on such films as The V.I.P.s, The Yellow Rolls Royce and The Dirty Dozen.

He enjoyed a warm working relationship with Sophia Loren, with whom he collaborated on Operation Crossbow, Lady L and The Countess From Hong Kong.

In his recently published biography, Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations, co- author Peter Evans described Edwards as someone who spent half a lifetime dealing with actresses. “He knew them inside out, their vulnerabilities and idiosyncrasies; he especially loved Ava’s down-to-earth take on life.”

Edwards was based in London, Rome and Paris before he relocated to MGM Studio in Culver City where he spent three years before returning to London in 1973 as MGM’s international publicity director.

He left MGM in the mid-1980s to devote his time to writing and occasional film marketing and publicity assignments.

Edwards was a member of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences since 1977 and also served as co-chairman of its London Screening Committee for eight years from its inception in 1989 until 1997.

He is survived by his wife Ghislaine, sons Sean and Nicolas, five granddaughters and a grandson.

A church service is scheduled for next week in Cape Town and a subsequent service will take place several weeks later in Portsmouth, England.

Edwards is pictured at left with Gene Kelly in Paris.