The History of Burrud Productions actually started long before Bill Burrud founded Bill Burrud Productions in 1954. In 1913 Bill’s father, |Leland Burrud, began filming one of the first known travel movies titled, "Legend of the Wilderness." He crossed the nation with a caravan of ancient cars and cinema equipment.
Bill Burrud began his love affair with Hollywood at the age of 7 when he made his acting debut in the feature motion picture "Music in the Air." He went on to appear in such productions as "Captains Courageous" with Spencer Tracy , "The Cowboy and the Kid" and "Idol of the Crowds" with John Wayne.
He grew up to serve in the Navy during World War II, and like so many other Vets, went off in search of his future in the post-war era. After graduating from Harvard Business School, Bill again turned his attention to Hollywood.
In 1950 television was making a big splash in the entertainment arena and Bill Burrud had an idea. He coined a new word for television … "traventure. " He acted upon this idea and in 1951 Los Angeles TV station KTTV purchased Bill’s first adventure series, The Open Road. In 1954 he founded Bill BurrudProductions and went on to produce literally hundreds of hours of programming in the ensuing years. The library spans 48 years of production and seven million feet of footage.
Bill Burrud and Burrud Productions have made a substantial contribution to the history of television. Productions run the gamut of family-reality programming. Animal World ran on all 3 networks and New! Animal World on the Disney Channel for a total of 15 years. Subject matter of Burrud programs was primarily wildlife, oceanic exploration, adventure, action, travel, reality and comedy. A partial list of Burrud productions includes the series : True Adventure, Vagabond, Wanderlust, Islands in the Sun, Wonderful World of Women, Safari to Adventure, Treasure! (hosted by Philip Michael Thomas), and Natural Wonders; specials that include: Where Did All the Animals Go?, Seals, Whales and Dolphin Tales (hosted by Loni Anderson), Return to Tarawa, Beyond Bizarre 1-13, Animals are the Funniest People (in association with Dick Clark and NBC), Shark! The Silent Savage (hosted by Robert Culp), and Movie Monsters Revealed; and a number of feature films including: Secret World of Reptiles, Vanishing Africa, Great American Wilderness, Amazing Apes, Mysterious Miniature World, The Last Ark, Devil’s Mountain, Montezuma’s Lost Gold, Strange Wilderness, The Call of Kilimanjaro.
Burrud Productions has experienced a number of significant milestones in the last 48 years. There have been awards from The Southern California Motion Picture Council and Film Advisory Board, Hollywood Festival of World Television, for the best wildlife and environment series - - the VIRA Award.
More recently, the feature film Call of Kilimanjaro received the Silver Award at the 1997 Worldfest Charleston.
Bill Burrud received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1977. Talk about milestones! If you want to visit, you’ll find Bill’s star next to Elvis Presley’s star.
Bill put his money where his mouth was in 1977 when he produced Where Did All the Animals Go? Produced entirely at Burrud Productions expense, this special raised over $120,000 from viewers for the Bill Burrud Anti-Poaching Fund. The money was used to purchase and deliver a police-type helicopter and other needed services for Kenya’s Tsavo Park West, a prime target for elephant poachers.
Bill’s son, John Burrud, joined the company directly out of high school and learned every phase of the business from the ground up. He learned his lessons well and has been directing the activities of the company since becoming President in 1985.
Bill Burrud passed away in 1990, but the Burrud legacy is stronger than ever. John Burrud’s leadership of Burrud Productions, Inc. will stand the companyin good stead in this New Millennium. For example, the current productionroster includes completion of 6 new hours of programming for The DiscoveryChannel, 5 hours of programming for The Learning Channel and 65 half-hours of children’s educational programming.
All in all, John Burrud and his staff look forward to a busy year producing innovativeand fresh programming for the worldwide television market.
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