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David Ladd (born February 5, 1947) is an American producer and former actor.
Ladd was born in Los Angeles, California, and is the son of Alan Ladd and Sue Carol and brother of Alana Ladd Jackson (born 1943). His other siblings include Carol Lee Ladd (born 1932, aka C.L. Stuart and C.L. Veitch) and Alan Ladd Jr.
Ladd attended Harvard School in Los Angeles and, following the death of his father in 1964, went on to graduate from the University of Southern California where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree while also fulfilling his military obligations in the Air Force Reserves.
In 1972, Ladd met actress Cheryl Stoppelmoor (who would become known as Cheryl Ladd upon the couple's marriage in 1973) with whom he later had a daughter, Jordan in 1975. In 1977, Cheryl became a star, replacing Farrah Fawcett in the television series Charlie's Angels, and David, having always been interested in the behind-the-scenes of the industry, began to turn his attention toward producing. His first productions were for ABC and included specials and movies of the week, most notably When She Was Bad (1979) starring Cheryl and Robert Urich.
Ladd's professional career in Hollywood began in 1957 with a supporting role in a film starring his father titled The Big Land. As a result of that film's success, Samuel Goldwyn Jr offered him a role as a mute in the 1958 movie The Proud Rebel, once again playing opposite his father and co-starring Olivia de Havilland. For this role, Ladd won a Golden Globe award as the "Best Newcomer of 1958" as well as a special award for "Best Juvenile Actor", and received a Best Supporting Actor nomination. He was also included in Film Daily's Filmdom's Famous Five critic's award. Ladd followed this success with a series of films including The Sad Horse (1959), A Dog of Flanders (1960), Raymie (also 1960) and Misty (1961), as well as appearing in numerous television shows including Bonanza, Zane Grey Theatre, and Shirley Temple's Story Book Theatre (as Tom Sawyer). Ladd was again included in Film Daily's Filmdom's Famous Five in 1961 for A Dog of Flanders. Ladd's other feature film credits include RPM (1970), The Day of the Locust (1975), The Treasure of Jamaica Reef (1975), Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1977) and The Wild Geese (1978).
In 1982, Ladd began working at Columbia Pictures as a creative executive. Shortly thereafter, his brother-in–law, John Veitch, stepped down as president of Columbia and asked Ladd to join him in establishing a new production company based at Columbia.
Ladd's first solo producing credit came in the motion picture The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988), based on Wade Davis' book of the same name. The film was quite successful, and he was subsequently asked to join his half-brother Alan Ladd Jr in forming Pathe Films in 1988. The duo produced several films before acquiring the venerable Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).
Ladd became a senior production executive at MGM and was part of the key team responsible for the resurgence of the studio (1989–1997). He was responsible for a variety of films, including the smash hit Get Shorty (1995).
Ladd left MGM as an executive in 1998, and signed a deal to produce movies for them. His first production was a re-imagining of the hit TV series The Mod Squad, in which he shared an Executive Producer credit with Aaron Spelling, with whom he had first collaborated on The Zane Grey Theatre in 1961.
During this period, MGM changed hands twice, but Ladd was able to continue his productions. He found a manuscript written by John Katzenbach and developed it as a screenplay for the 2002 film, Hart's War, directed by Gregory Hoblit and starring Bruce Willis, Colin Farrell and Terrence Howard. Ladd followed this up with the 2003 comedy A Guy Thing, starring Jason Lee, Julia Stiles and Selma Blair.
Shortly thereafter, MGM was sold and Ladd left the company as an independent. He is currently developing projects for Fox, Universal and Paramount, as well as projects for the independent film market-place. In 2008, he helped shepherd Kevin Sheridan's Leaving Barstow, which won several awards on the film festival circuit.
Ladd spent a portion of 2007 teaching film production at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
He is a member of the Producers Guild of America, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and an emeritus member of the Screen Actors Guild.
|1981||Beyond the Universe|
|1979||Fantasy Island (TV series)||David Hanks||Season 3, Episode 6: "The Red Baron/Young at Heart"|
|1978||The Wild Geese||Sonny|
|1978||Emergency! (TV series)||Paramedic Pete, Squad *51, LACoFD||Season 7, Episode 3: "Survival on Charter #220"|
|1977||Kojak (TV series)||Everett Coughlin||Season 5, Episode 12: "I Could Kill My Wife's Lawyer"|
|1977||Police Story (TV series)||McRyan||Season 5, Episode 2: "Stigma"|
|1976||The Quest (TV series)||Season 1, Episode 13: "Dynasty of Evil"|
|1975||The Day of the Locust||Apprentice|
|1975||The Treasure of Jamaica Reef||Joshua Owens|
|1973||Jonathan Livingston Seagull||Fletcher Lynd Seagull (voice)|
|1973||Death Line||Alex Campbell|
|1972||The Sixth Sense (TV series)||Paul||Season 2, Episode 2: "Dear Joan: We're Going to Scare You to Death"|
|1971||Family Affair (TV series)||Russ Brooks||Season 5, Episode 19: "Put Your Dreams Away"|
|1970||R. P. M.|
|1969||Love, American Style (TV series)||Dennis||Season 1, Episode 1: "Love and a Couple of Couples/Love and the Hustler/Love and the Pill" (segment "Love and the Pill")|
|1966||Ben Casey (TV series)||Season 5, Episode 21: "Weave Nets to Catch the Wind"|
|1965||Gunsmoke (TV series)||Brian Forbes||Season 11, Episode 8: "The Reward"|
|1962||Wagon Train (TV series)||Terry Morrell||Season 5, Episode 30: "The Terry Morrell Story"|
|1961||Zane Grey Theater (TV series)||Thalian Kihlgren||Season 5, Episode 18: "The Broken Wing"|
|1960||Shirley Temple's Storybook (TV series)||Tom Sawyer||Season 2, Episode 4: "Tom and Huck"|
|1960||Bonanza (TV series)||Billy Allen||Season 1, Episode 30: "Feet of Clay"|
|1959||The Sad Horse||Jackie Connors|
|1959||A Dog of Flanders||Nello Daas|
|1958||The Proud Rebel||David Chandler|
|1957||The Big Land||David Johnson / Echo|
|1953||Shane||Little Boy (uncredited)|