William James Burrud (January 12, 1925 – June 12, 1990) was a former child star and a television host and producer best known for his travel programs.
Burrud and a baby elephant, 1968.
William James Burrud|
January 12, 1925
July 12, 1990 (aged 65)|
Sunset Beach, California
|Cause of death||Heart Attack|
Born in Hollywood, California, Burrud was a son of Leland Burrud, who had produced one of the earliest known travel films in 1913. Burrud made his first film appearance at the age of 7 in Music in the Air. He also appeared in Captains Courageous with Spencer Tracy and in several films starring John Wayne. Burrud served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, then graduated from Harvard University.
In 1950 Burrud turned his attention to television. He coined the word "traventure" to describe the programs he intended to produce. The following year station KTTV in Los Angeles purchased his series The Open Road. In 1954 he founded Bill Burrud Productions, which would produce programs that included True Adventure, Vagabond, Wanderlust (the theme song for which was "The Happy Wanderer"), Animal World, Islands in the Sun, Wonderful World of Women, Safari to Adventure, Treasure, and Natural Wonders. His company also produced numerous television specials.
Burrud died from a heart attack in Sunset Beach, California in 1990 at the age of 65. He was buried at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California. His son John Burrud now heads the company.