BiographyDelmar, Delaware, USA
Born in Delmar, Delaware, William Alland began his show-biz career as an actor with a semi-professional Baltimore troupe. Arriving in Manhattan with $25, "a paper suitcase" and the ambition to work on Broadway, Alland took courses and acted at the Henry Street Settlement House and there met "boy wonder" Orson Welles, then on the eve of forming his Mercury Theatre group. Alland got in on the ground floor, acting with the Mercury Players on the New York stage and in radio (including the notorious Halloween 1938 "War of the Worlds" broadcast) before playing the (camera-shy) reporter Thompson in Welles' Citizen Kane (1941). Read more... During World War II Alland was a combat pilot (50 missions over the South Pacific); in the postwar years, he was the Peabody Award-winning producer of radio's groundbreaking "Doorway to Life". He then turned movie producer, cranking out a series of features (mostly sci-fi films and Westerns) at Universal-International in the 1950s.