Jerome “Jerry” Courtland, who was a director for primetime soaps KNOTS LANDING, FALCON CREST, DYNASTY and THE COLBYS, died on March 1 of heart disease in the Santa Clarita Valley, California. He was 85.
Courtland was a producer at Walt Disney Studios and Screen Gems for over 25 years. He had been an actor before turning to producing and directing. In 1959, he narrated the Disney short Noah’s Ark, nominated for an Oscar the following year for Best Short Subject (Cartoon).
He worked on such feature films as Escape to Witch Mountain, Ride a Wild Pony and Return From Witch Mountain. Before he left Disney in the early 1980s, he produced the live-action movie The Devil and Max Devlin.
Courtland also appeared as an actor on KNOTS LANDING for a couple of episodes playing Dr. Green.
He moved to the Chicago area in 1997, becoming a Columbia College professor. For five years, he taught acting and directing for the camera for five years. He retired to Florida, where he wrote and illustrated children’s books.
He was married three times, the first to actress Polly Bergen. The second to Janet Courtland with whom he had 3 sons; 2 daughters; 11 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He is survived by his third wife Marlene and 2 half sisters, Margaret England and Betty Shattuck.
A memorial service celebrating his life is planned for March 31.