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Emmy-winning producer Wolper dies

Wolper, the creator of hit 1977 miniseries Roots, died of congestive heart disease and complications of Parkinson’s disease on Tuesday evening (10Aug10).

He passed away peacefully at his Beverly Hills home while watching television with his wife Gloria, according to his spokesman, Dale Olson.

Wolper also produced the 1971 children’s classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory but was best-known for his TV work.

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Roots, which chronicled the life of an enslaved West African sold in America, won high honours, including nine Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.

His credits also include Emmy-winning TV documentary The Making of the President 1960, National Geographic special The World of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, docudrama The Trial of Lt. Calley, sitcom hits including Welcome Back, Kotter and Chico and the Man, and Oscar-winning film L.A. Confidential.

He produced the opening and closing ceremonies for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and New York’s 1986 extravaganza celebrating the centennial of the Statue of Liberty.

In 2003, Wolper reflected on his decades-long career, releasing a memoir simply titled Producer.

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