Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
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1 item from 2010

'Roots' producer David Wolper dies at 82

11 August 2010 9:07 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

David L. Wolper,  the groundbreaking producer who made television history with the miniseries "Roots" as well as the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics, died at his home in Beverly Hills on Tuesday of congestive heart disease and complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 82.

Wolper won two Emmy Awards for 1977’s "Roots" and its 1979 "Roots: The Next Generations," the two miniseries based on Alex Haley’s novel about his African-American ancestors pioneered the docudrama genre. Broadcast in one-and-two hour segments over an eight-day period in early 1977, the first series won huge ratings, despite initial reservations that its focus on the history of African-Americans would not have wide appeal. It won a 44.9 Nielsen rating and garnered a 66% share of the national audience, becoming one of the most-watched programs in TV history.

Although he primarily turned out documentaries for TV and films, Wolper also produced several theatrical movies, including 1971's »

- By Duane Byrge

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