Legendary producer David Wolper, whose many documentaries and notable TV projects include Roots and The Thorn Birds — has died at the age of 82. Wolper was one of the co-founders of the Archive of American Television and was interviewed about his career on May 12, 1998. His full Archive interview is currently available online.
In his Archive interview, David Wolper talked about forming his first company, Flamingo Films, with father and son friends Joe and Jim Harris. He discussed many of his documentaries, including the “Race For Space,” “Hollywood: The Golden Years,” and “The Making of a President,” among others. Wolper fondly recalled working with his long time friend Mike Wallace, as well meeting and working with oceanographer, Jacques Cousteau. He talked about two classic sitcoms, Chico and the Man and Welcome Back, Kotter, as well as the many television movies and specials he produced. Wolper also discussed in great detail his three highly acclaimed ABC mini-series, Roots, The Thorn Birds, and North and South. The five-and-a-half-hour interview was conducted by Morrie Gelman.