LOS ANGELES – David L. Wolper, the award-winning television documentary producer best known for the blockbuster TV miniseries “Roots” and for the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies he created for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, has died. He was 82.

Wolper died Tuesday at his Beverly Hills home of congestive heart disease and complications of Parkinson’s disease, said Dale Olson, his longtime publicist.

The lavish production that Wolper staged for the Los Angeles Olympics is credited with setting new standards for host cities. Opening flourishes included an “astronaut” powered by a jet-pack who soared into the Coliseum and a card stunt involving the entire arena that displayed flags of every competing nation.

“Not until the Beijing Games in 2008 has anybody rivaled what he did as a volunteer and with a low budget,” Peter Ueberroth, president of the Los Angeles Organizing Committee for the 1984 Games, told the Los Angeles Times. “For the opening ceremony, he wanted to be sure to give everyone goose bumps — and it did.”


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