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'Willie Wonka' director Mel Stuart dies at age 83

10:54 AM, Aug 10, 2012   |    comments
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(USA TODAY) -- Longtime producer and director Mel Stuart, 83, had died at his Beverly Hills home.

His daughter, Madeline, told AP he died Thursday night of cancer, reports AP.

Stuart, born in New York, spent 17 years working in Hollywood with David Wolper as an exec with the Wolper Organization. He produced and directed dozens of documentaries including The Making of the President, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Four Days in November and Wattstax. He also directed various features including the original Gene Wilder-starring Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium.

In 1977, the Wolper Organization was acquired by Warner Brothers. Since that time, Stuart has been an independent producer and director, according to his web site.

He made more than 180 films. He won four Emmies, a Peabody Award, an Oscar Nomination and numerous awards from festivals around the world. Stuart made his home in Los Angeles with his wife, Roberta. In addition to daughter Madeline, Stuart is survived by sons Peter, and Andrew.

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