If you are a fan of the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (starring Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, and Peter Ostrum), you are a fan of director Mel Stuart's work. Mel Stuart was a wonderfully well-known film director and producer who unfortunately died this past Thursday (August 9th, 2012).
Even though Mel Stuart was known for his movie musical Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, he also directed various documentaries, such as: Four Days in November (1964), and Wattstax (1974). Both of these documentaries were nominated for various awards: Four Days in November (Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature), and Wattstax (Golden Globe Award for Best Documentary Film).
Mel Stuart's most recent works were involved in producing the following films and movies: The Making of a President, Ripley's Believe It or Not (1982), American Masters, Best of the Worst, BBC: A Window on the World, John Ashbery: The Poet's View, and Acting Normal. (Source: IMDb)
On Thursday, August 9th, 2012, Mel Stuart passed away at the age of 83 due to cancer. Many fans of his work have left their condolences via Twitter:
Responsible for one of my favorite movies of all time, adios Mel Stuart. Cancer's taking too many lives. http://t.co/k4dNIcjL
Just heard that Mel Stuart has passed away. RIP. Thanks for the many memories.
Feeling very weird after hearing that Mel Stuart, director of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, has passed away. He made over 180 films!
RIP Mel Stuart....director of one of the movies that I will always stop to watch when it's on....Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
RIP Mel Stuart, 1928-2012. Among other things, he directed the original Willy Wonka film -- one of the creepiest/most awesome movies ever.