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Mel Stuart was born in New York, and aspired to a career in music. However, after graduating from New York University he decided to pursue a career as a filmmaker. In 1960, David Wolper asked him to join a newly formed production company. For the following 17 years, Mr. Stuart served as a key executive with the Wolper Organization. During that time he produced and directed dozens of documentaries - - among them "The Making of the President," "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," "Four Days in November" and "Wattstax."

He also directed various features including "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and "If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium."

In 1977 the Wolper organization was acquired by Warner Brothers. Since that time, Mr. Stuart has been an independent producer and director. Among his productions have been documentaries such as "Man Ray: Prophet of the Avant-garde" and "Billy Wilder - The Human Comedy" for PBS, "AFI’s 100 Years-100 Movies," "Inside the KGB" and the reality series, "Ripley’s Believe It or Not." He also worked in long-form television, producing or directing various television dramas such as "Bill," "The Triangle Factory Fire" and "Ruby and Oswald."

Mr. Stuart served as President of the International Documentary Association for two years and has been the recipient of many Emmy Awards, a Peabody award and an Oscar Nomination for his work.

In November 2002, Stuart published "Pure Imagination: The Making of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," a compendium of facts, photos and film stills concerning one of his most popular directorial efforts. (St. Martin's Press; ISBN: 0312287771)

He is currently producing a one-hour television special, "Still Perfect- 20 Memorable Photographs" and a series on living American poets.


John Ashbery – A Poet’s View (Academy of American Poets) 2002
Still Perfect – Memorable Photographs of the 20th Century - Trio 2002
W. S. Merwin - A Poet’s View (Academy of American Poets) 2001
Seeing Stars - BBC
BBC- A Window on the World - BBC-Discovery - Two hours 2000
Running on the Sun - Feature Documentary 1999
AFI’s 100 Years-100 Movies -Ten Part Series - TNT 1998
Billy Wilder - The Human Comedy - PBS American Masters 1997
Man Ray: Prophet of the Avant Garde- PBS American Masters 1996
Inside the KGB - (2 hour NBC special) 1995

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Paramount) Director
If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (UA) Director
One Is a Lonely Number (MGM) Director
I Love My Wife (Universal) Director
Wattstax (Columbia) Prod.-Director
The White Lions (ABC) Director
Four Days in November (UA) (Documentary) Prod.-Director.

The Making of the President - 1960,1964,1968 (ABC,CBS) Prod.- Director
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (ABC) Exec. Producer
China - The Roots of Madness (CBS) Prod.- Director
Life Goes to the Movies (NBC) Prod.- Director
Cary Grant, A Celebration - with Michael Caine (ABC) Prod.- Director
Love from A to Z - with Liza Minelli & Charles Aznavour Director
George Plimpton and the N.Y. Philharmonic (NBC) Prod.- Director

Bill - 2 hour film (CBS) Producer
Sophia Loren, Her Own Story - 3 hour film (NBC) Director
Ruby and Oswald - 3 hour film (CBS) Director
The Triangle Factory Fire - 2 hour film (NBC) Director
The Chisholms - 12 hour mini-series (CBS) Director

Ripley’s Believe It or Not - 79 hour episodes (ABC) Exec.Prod.- Dir.
The 3M Specials - 8 hours (ABC) Exec.Prod.- Dir.
The Best of the Worst- ( Fox Television Series) Exec. Producer
The Story of.....26 half hours - Syndicated Exec.Prod.- Dir.

Among the many acknowledgments of his work have been four Emmies, a Peabody Award, and an Oscar Nomination. For two years he served as President of the International Documentary Association. He has been a guest lecturer on the subject of film and video production at various universities.

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