Cort Casady has won two Emmy Awards and three NAACP Image Awards for his work as a television and documentary writer-producer. He won his first Emmy for New York at Night Starring Clint Holmes, a daily, live, prime time variety-talk series he created for Superstation WWOR-New York (1992). He won his second Emmy for the American Film Institute (AFI) Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Mel Brooks (2014). His numerous credits include creating the original story and characters for the five-installment TV movie mini-series Kenny Rogers as The Gambler, helping to format and launch the long-running reality competition series, Star Search with Ed McMahon, a forerunner of American Idol, and co-creating television’s first weekly environmental series. Launched as Earthbeat, the series aired as Network Earth on TBS for five years.
Since 2003, Cort has served as supervising producer of the annual American Film Institute (AFI) Life Achievement Award tributes to America’s leading actors and filmmakers. He has also written a number of televised music-documentary specials benefiting the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), including televised tributes to R&B legends Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder (2007 Image Award winner), Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson (2009 Image Award winner), Patti LaBelle, Lionel Richie (2011 Image Award winner), and Chaka Khan.
Cort is the coauthor of two previously published books: The Singing Entertainer (with John Davidson, Alfred Publishing), a handbook for professionals, and You Oughta Be Me: How to Be a Lounge Singer and Live Like One by the Fabulous Bud E. Luv (with Ned Claflin, St. Martin’s Press), a humorous faux autobiography. Casady is also the co-author with Mary Miller of the musical play King of the Road: The Roger Miller Story, which had its world premiere at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach, California.
Cort began his show business career as a commercial coordinator at KNBC-TV in Burbank prior to becoming a production assistant on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour; he was subsequently made vice president of the Los Angeles production of the rock musical Hair because he was the only person in the company with a clean police record. If the play had been busted for its notorious nude scene, Casady would have been the individual arrested. Cort saw to it that the play was never busted. After Hair became a hit, Casady joined veteran personal manager Ken Kragen in a management and production company representing Kenny Rogers, Mason Williams, Jennifer Warnes, John Hartford, and John Stewart. Cort left artist management to become an investigative magazine writer, author, songwriter, and television writer-producer.
1995, Age 6 months. Left to right: Jackson, Braden, Carter.
1996, Age 1 year. Left to right: Carter, Jackson, Braden.
1997, Age 2 1/2. Left to right: Braden, Carter, Jackson. Photo by Curtis Dahl.
2000, Age 5. Top to bottom: Jackson, Carter, Braden. Photo by Curtis Dahl.
2005, Age 10. Left to right: Carter, Barbara, Braden, Cort, Jackson. Photo by Curtis Dahl.
2006, Age 11. Left to right: Carter, Cort, Barbara, Braden, and Jackson. Photo by Curtis Dahl.
2006, Age 11. Encino Little League. Left to right: Braden, Carter, Jackson.
2010, Age 15. Left to right: Carter, Jackson, Braden, Cort, and Barbara.
2011, Age 16. Left to right: Jackson, Braden, Carter.
2011, Age 16. Jackson batting
2011, Age 16. Carter pitching
2011, Age 16. Braden fielding
2011, Age 16. Left to right: Jackson, Cort, Barbara, Carter, Braden.
2016, Age 21. Left to right: Braden, Jackson, Carter.
Photo by Curtis Dahl.