Jerome Courtland, whose long career included credits as actor, director, producer, and singer, passed away on March 1st. He was 85.
Courtland started out acting as a young man, making his film debut in the romantic comedy TOGETHER AGAIN (1944). Among many other films, Courtland was in the impressive cast of MGM's BATTLEGROUND (1949), had a good part in Randolph Scott's THE WALKING HILLS (1949), and played George Montgomery's sidekick in CRIPPLE CREEK (1952).
As recounted in a detailed tribute at the Walt Disney Family Museum blog, Storyboard, Courtland had a long association with Disney, in front of and behind the camera. On TV he starred in Disney's THE SAGA OF ANDY BURNETT (1957-58); he was in the Disney film TONKA (1958) and narrated the Oscar-nominated short NOAH'S ARK (1959), which is available in the Disney Rarities Treasures set. A singer who had once appeared in a short-lived Broadway musical, Courtland even sang the title song over the credits of the Disney classic OLD YELLER (1957).
After working as a producer on '60s TV series such as THE FLYING NUN and HERE COME THE BRIDES, Courtland returned to Disney to produce a number of films, including ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN (1975), PETE'S DRAGON (1977), and AMY (1981), which Disney put out on DVD-R in their almost-undercover MOD program last year.
Fans of '80s primetime soaps may remember Courtland's name, as he directed numerous episodes of FALCON CREST, DYNASTY, and KNOTS LANDING. Although he had stopped acting as of the '60s, he returned to acting in the '90s for a couple of TV roles, including a small part on KNOTS LANDING.
He later taught directing and acting at Columbia College in Chicago.
Additional obituaries have been posted at Big Cartoon News and We Love Soaps.