Courtland in Death Valley Days in 1967
December 27, 1926|
Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Died||March 1, 2012
Santa Clarita Valley, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Polly Bergen (1950-1955) (divorced)
Janet Rose Gumprecht (1955-?) (divorced) 5 children
Marlene Juttner (1984-2012) (his death)
Jerome Courtland (December 27, 1926 – March 1, 2012) was an American actor, director and producer. He acted in films in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, and in television in the 1950s and 1960s. Courtland also appeared on Broadway in the musical, "Flahooley" in the early 1950s. He was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. He directed and produced television series in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. He served in the Pacific Theater of World War II.
Jerome "Jerry" Courtland was born Courtland Jourolman Jr. on December 27, 1926 in Knoxville, Tennessee. At 17, Courtland attended a Hollywood party with his mother, a professional singer. A chance meeting with director Charles Vidor led to a screen test at Columbia Pictures and a seven-year contract. His feature debut was in Vidor’s 1944 screwball comedy Together Again, before he joined the military, seeing service in the Pacific.
After the War, Courtland starred opposite Shirley Temple in Kiss and Tell, followed by a succession of more than a dozen films including The Man From Colorado (1948), Battleground (1949), The Palomino (1950), The Barefoot Mailman (1951), and Take the High Ground (1953). He was a licensed pilot and trained in stunt flying.
In 1951 Courtland starred on Broadway as the romantic lead in the very short-lived musical, "Flahooley" with Barbara Cook. Returning to California, he was frequently seen in guest roles on Westerns including The Rifleman, Death Valley Days and The Virginian.
In 1957, he starred in six episodes of ABC's Disneyland in the miniseries "The Saga of Andy Burnett", the story of a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, man who comes west to the Rocky Mountains. The Burnett role was an attempt by Walt Disney to follow up on the success of the first television miniseries, Davy Crockett. In 1958, he guest starred in an episode of the television Western series The Rifleman. His voice was heard singing the title song during the credits in the movie Old Yeller. In 1959 he played the role of Army Lt. Henry Nowlan in the Disney film Tonka. Also that year he narrated the Disney short Noah's Ark, nominated for an Oscar the following year for Best Short Subject (Cartoon).
Courtland starred in the 1959-1960 television series Tales of the Vikings, playing the lead character, Leif. He dyed his hair and beard blonde for the role. The series was produced by Kirk Douglas' Bryna Productions and ran for thirty-nine episodes.
In the '60s, Courtland gave up acting to produce for Disney, "Screen Gems", and others. In 1975, he produced the Walt Disney film, Ride a Wild Pony. He was one of two producers of the partly animated 1977 Disney movie Pete's Dragon. He was the producer for Escape to Witch Mountain in 1975, and The Devil and Max Devlin.
In 1968 Courtland made his directorial debut with several episodes of The Flying Nun. In the 1980s he directed episodes of Aaron Spelling's Dynasty, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat and The Colbys.
In the early 1990s he made guest appearances on L.A. Law and Knots Landing. In 1997 he moved to the Chicago area, where for five years he taught acting and directing for the camera at Columbia College. Courtland died on March 1, 2012 of heart disease in the Santa Clarita Valley, California.
- Together Again (1944)
- The Man from Colorado (1948)
- Battleground (1949)
- Tokyo Joe (1949)
- The Palomino (1950)
- The Barefoot Mailman (1951)
- Sunny Side of the Street (1951)
- Santa Fe (1951)
- The Texas Rangers (1951)
- The Barefoot Mailman (1951)
- Take the High Ground! (1953)
- The Bamboo Prison (1954)
- Tonka (1958)
- Escape to Witch Mountain (1975)
- "Remembering Jerome Courtland", The Walt Disney Family Museum
- Minovitz, Ethan (March 6, 2012). "Jerome Courtland, 85, was "Pete's Dragon" producer". Big Cartoon News. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- Bettles, Robert (December 22, 1976). "Insight with a boy and his pony". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 16. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
- "SCV’s Jerome Courtland, Actor-Director-Producer, Dies at 85", SCVTV News, March 5, 2012
- Jerome Courtland at AllMovie
- Jerome Courtland at the Internet Broadway Database
- Jerome Courtland at the Internet Movie Database
- Jerome Courtland at Find a Grave
- Staff (March 5, 2012). "Jerome Courtland dies at 85 – Directed Episodes of Aaron Spelling Dramas". Variety. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
- Jerry Courtland Movie Memorial
- Theme song from "'Old Yeller"