August 10, 2012 - 18:58 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Mel Stuart, the director of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, has died aged 83, BBC News said.
His family said he died at his Beverly Hills home after suffering from cancer.
Beginning his career mainly directing documentaries, the 1971 adaptation of Roald Dahl's book was Stuart's second feature film.
He was nominated for an Oscar in 1965 for his documentary, Four Days in November, about the assassination of John F Kennedy.
According to his own website, Stuart made more than 180 films.
Born in New York, the director had originally aspired to be a composer, but after university decided to instead pursue a career as a filmmaker.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Stuart worked with award-winner David Wolper's production company to make dozens of documentary films.
Stuart's films included three editions of The Making of the President, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and the groundbreaking film Wattstax, which focused on Los Angeles' black Watts community in the aftermath of the 1965 riots.
During this time, Stuart made Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder.
He embarked on the ambitious musical fantasy after his 11-year-old daughter asked him to make a movie of the book she loved. She was also given a cameo in the film.
The book was later made into another film by Tim Burton in 2005, with Johnny Depp in the starring role.
After leaving the Wolper Organisation in 1977, Stuart went on to independently direct and produce numerous other documentaries such as AFI's 100 Years-100 Movies, Inside the KGB and the Ripley's Believe It or Not TV series.
His other features include the 1969 comedy If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium, starring Suzanne Pleshette and Ian McShane.
He is survived by his wife, Roberta, and three children.