John Newland, longtime actor and TV director perhaps best remembered as the host of the popular mid-1960s quasi-supernatural TV show “Once Step Beyond,” died Jan. 10 in Los Angeles from a stroke. He was 82.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, a 17-year-old Newland joined a song and dance group called the Vikings in 1934. Within a few years, he was working steadily as an actor on Broadway and in radio.
Newland served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and following his discharge was signed by Warner Bros. By the early 1950s, he became a ubiquitous presence on early television and appeared in the numerous anthology TV shows of the day, including “Robert Montgomery Presents,” “Philco Playhouse,” “Studio One” and “Kraft Theater.”
By the late 1950s, he settled in Los Angeles to direct “The Loretta Young Show” and followed that by co-creating, directing and hosting “One Step Beyond.” “Beyond” was the first TV show to explore psychic phenomena. It was nationally syndicated and remains to this day a memorable show for the baby boomer generation.
During the 1960s and ’70s, Newland directed numerous TV shows including “Thriller,” “Star Trek,” “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “The Young Lawyers,” “Night Gallery,” “Police Woman,” “Harry O,” “Wonder Woman,” “Fantasy Island” and “Whiz Kids.”
During the 1970s and ’80s, he directed and partnered with Alan Factor to form Factor/Newland Productions. Following Factor’s death, Newland teamed up with Ted Raynor to form Newland/Raynor Prods.
Newland is survived by his wife of 32 years, Areta, two daughters and a granddaughter.
Family suggests donations be made to the Actor’s Fund.