Mel Stuart, director of one of the most beloved children's film of all time, has died aged 83 after losing his battle with cancer. His daughter Madeline confirmed to press that the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory director passed away on yesterday (Thursday 9th).
Mel was a hugely successful director during his time, winning four Emmys, a Peabody Award and being nominated for an Oscar for the documentary Four Days in November in a career that saw him make more than 180 films. Stuart had initially began his career working for the Wolper Organization alongside its founder David Wolpher. Mel left the company before it was bought-out by Warner Brothers in 1977. Since then he has directed and produced films independently.
He became well known for his numerous documentaries, including The Making of the President, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Four Days in November and Wattstax. However, it is probably the Gene Wilder staring Willy Wonka that will make sure his name echoes long after his death. Stuart lived with his wife Roberta, with whom he had three children, in Los Angeles up until her death. He is survived by his daughter Madeline and sons Peter and Andrew.