William Alland was born March 4, 1916 Delmar, Delaware.

He became a regular performer in Orson Welles’ Mercury Theater On The Air from the radio show’s inception. He was featured in The War of the Worlds broadcast as the Meridian Room announcer and as a field artillery gunner. Not long after his stint with the Mercury Theater, Alland would be cast in Orson Welles’ film Citizen Kane as reporter Jerry Thompson, who investigates the life of newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane.

After working with Welles, Alland became a producer and director of many Hollywood sci-fi and western movies. His film credits as a producer include Tarantula, This Island Earth, The Mole People, & It Came From Outer Space.

During the 1950’s, Alland became a strong advocate for the “respectability” of his science fiction “exploitation” films. He felt that they were a perfect venue for social and political commentary. His films always turned a profit – how’s that for respectability?

Screen capture from

He passed away November 11, 1997, in Long Beach, California.

~ by Peter Overstreet on May 27, 2008.

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