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<i>Roots</i> Producer Stan Margulies Dies

Ben Vereen Roots
AP
Stan Margulies, who produced two of the most watched miniseries in television history, Roots and The Thorn Birds, has died. He was 80.

Margulies, who had been battling cancer, died Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, family friend Maurice Segal said Wednesday.

The producer earned three Emmy awards during his career. The first was for the 1977 miniseries Roots, and the second for Roots: The Next Generations in 1979. The series chronicled the family of the late author Alex B. Haley from slavery to present times.

Margulies' third Emmy was for 1991's Separate but Equal, which starred Sidney Poitier in a docudrama about the early career of Thurgood Marshall, the first black U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Margulies helped produce the 1973 film documentary Visions of Eight, about the 1972 Olympics. It won a Golden Globe for best documentary.

The American Film Institute honored him in 1996 with its annual Producer of the Year Award, presented for "a distinguished, career-long contribution to the world of television and entertainment."

Born in New York City, Margulies served in the Army Air Force and the infantry during World War II. Later, he wrote for several military newspapers and worked as a reporter in Salt Lake City.

In addition to his TV work, he produced nine films for theatrical release, including Forty Pounds of Trouble, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

His last production was the TV movie Dash and Lilly, about mystery writer Dashiell Hammett.

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