Jerome “Jerry” Courtland, a character actor who went on to direct episodes of “The Love Boat,” “Dynasty” and “Knots Landing,” died Thursday from heart disease. He was 85.
A family member told SCVNews.com he died peacefully at his home in Santa Clarita. Public records give an address in the Valencia Northbridge community.
Born Courtland Jourolman Jr. in Knoxville, Tenn., on Dec. 27, 1926, he was discovered at age 17 and signed to a 7-year contract with Columbia before joining the Army and serving in the Pacific theater during World War II.
After the war, he starred opposite Shirley Temple in “Kiss and Tell” (Columbia, 1945) before transitioning to television in the 1950s and ’60s. Disney cast him in the lead for the short-lived “Saga of Andy Burnett,” but he spent most of his acting career in guest roles on Westerns shot partially in the Santa Clarita Valley including “The Rifleman,” “Death Valley Days” and “The Virginian.”
In 1968 Courtland made his directorial debut with several episodes of “The Flying Nun.” He made his biggest mark in the 1980s when he hooked up with Aaron Spelling, who had him direct episodes of “Dynasty,” “Fantasy Island,” “The Love Boat” and “The Colbys.”
Courtland co-produced 1977’s partially animated “Pete’s Dragon,” filmed at The Walt Disney Co.’s Golden Oak Ranch in Placerita Canyon.
His last work came in the early 1990s with guest appearances on “L.A. Law” and “Knots Landing.”
He was married three times, the first to actress Polly Bergen and the second to Janet Courtland, with whom he had three sons; two daughters; 11 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He is survived by his third wife, Marlene, and two half sisters, Margaret England and Betty Shattuck. A memorial service is scheduled for March 31.