LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – British director and screenwriter Ken Hughes, best known for the 1968 children’s comedy caper “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” has died at the age of 79, family members said Wednesday.
Hughes, who was born in Liverpool, England, died in a Los Angeles area nursing home last weekend. He had been in poor health for some time.
Hughes began his filmmaking career in England, making documentaries and short features for the BBC. But his most popular feature film was “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” which starred Dick Van Dyke. The story of an eccentric inventor and his magical car proved a family favorite.
He was one of a number of directors who worked on the 1967 James Bond spoof, “Casino Royale” and also directed and wrote the script for the movie, “The Trials of Oscar Wilde”.
He also directed Mae West in what proved to be her last film, the 1978 movie “Sextette.”