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Wolper, David Lloyd


WOLPER, DAVID LLOYD (1928– ), U.S. producer of films and television documentaries. Born in New York, Wolper's first commercial venture was to buy old Hollywood films and to sell them to the infant television industry. In 1958 he formed Wolper Productions. His film The Race for Space (1959) established his reputation as an independent documentary producer and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary. Other notable productions were The Miracle (1959); Biography, a weekly tv series (1961–64); The Making of the President, 1960 (1963); the tv series Hollywood and the Stars (1963); The Legend of Marilyn Monroe (1964); National Geographic Specials (1964–75); Let My People Go (1965), the story of the creation of the State of Israel; The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1968); The Unfinished Journey of Robert Kennedy (1970); Victory at Entebbe (1976); the tv miniseries Roots (Peabody Award and an Emmy for Outstanding Series, 1977); Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter (Emmy nomination, 1982); the tv miniseries The Thorn Birds (1983); Liberty Weekend (two Emmy nominations, 1986); The Betty Ford Story (1987); Murder in Mississippi (Emmy nomination, 1990); The Plot to Kill Hitler (1990); Dillinger (1991); the miniseries Queen (Emmy nomination, 1993); and the tv miniseries The Mists of Avalon (2001).

Wolper also ventured into feature film production. His movie credits include The Devil's Brigade (1968); If It's Tuesday It Must Be Belgium (1969); Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971); This Is Elvis (1981); Imagine: John Lennon (1988); Murder in the First (1995); Surviving Picasso (1996) and L.A. Confidential (1997).

In 1985 he received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Wolper wrote Producer: A Memoir (with D. Fisher, 2003).

[Jonathan Licht /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]

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