Bert Stratford began his career as a singer and actor in 1960. In 1963 he played Hero on Broadway and the National Tour of “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum” and Off-Broadway he played the Boy in “The Fantasticks.” He recorded for Kapp Records, was Joan Rivers ‘s opening act for nearly three years and played more juvenile roles on stage, film and TV than he cares to remember.
His early theatrical producing career spanned seven years beginning back in 1976 with The Shirtsleave Theatre Company that produced some twelve original productions over a two-year run at the well known Manhattan Theatre Club. On Broadway, Stratford produced “Street Heat” and “Musical Chairs”. Off-Broadway his credits include the award-winning musicals, “Scrambled Feet ” and “Children Of Adam”. On tour his productions included “The Fantasticks”, “I Do!, I Do!”, “Sugar Babies”, “Hollywood Hotel”, “Stars On 45”, “Bye Bye Birdie”, “The Seven Year Itch”, “Marriage Go Round”, “Dick Shawn At Carnegie Hall” and “The Rainmaker”.
As a consultant and TV packager, Stratford worked with Silver Lake Productions during the mid-80s on several shows for HBO, Showtime, The British Broadcasting System, Disney Channel, ABC Distribution and MCA-TV.
His early TV producing credits from the ’80s include “The Glen Campbell Concert” with the BBC, “The Peep Show” for MCA-TV, “Scrambled Feet ” and “Honky Tonk Nights” starring Jackie Gleason, both for for Showtime, and “The Mainas” for PBS.
Stratford’s association and partnership with Romeo Muller date back to 1974. Romeo was one of the most prolific children/family writers whose credits include such animated classics as “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”, “Frosty The Snowman”, “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” and “The Hobbit”. Between these them, these two represent seventeen of the all-time popular network holiday specials.
Has completed successful holiday specials including on NBC “The Twelve Days Of Christmas”, sponsored and tied into a $75 million licensing program with K-Mart, and the most popular NBC special in five years entitled “Noel”. On ABC, “The Wish That Changed Christmas”, sponsored by McDonald’s: in syndication “Peppermint Rose” based on the Mattel doll, the pilot for Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”, and “Strawberry Shortcake”, which was tied into a $1.2 billion licensing program.
In a first look deal spanning nearly three years, Stratford developed several network and cable MOW’s with Davis Entertainment Television.
Completed in 1997 were 26 half hours of “Bingo and Molly”, a children’s live action/animation pro social series for the Learning Channel, which won the Cine Golden Eagle Award, The Parents Choice Award, and a Grammy Award nomination. Also, he produced a series of direct-to-video animated films for Goodtimes Home Video whose titles include “White Fang” (wrote/produced) and “The Ten Commandments”, and a one-hour crime drama pilot for CBS and Columbia Tri-Star entitled “The Fugitive Squad”.
Stratford’s critically acclaimed Christmas movie entitled “The Christmas Secret” completed its third consecutive network airing, starring Richard Thomas and Beau Bridges as “Nick” (Santa Clause). Airing on CBS, this was the third highest-rated movie on TV in 2000, and was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, General Motors, Nestles, and K-Mart. Bruce Graham. who scripted “Anastasia”, Twentieth Century’s animated film success, adapted the screenplay from the critically acclaimed Christmas book “The Flight Of The Reindeer” by Robert Sullivan.
Stratford is married to actress Lee Meredith and has two grown daughters Kim (an artist) and Erica (a nurse).