Mostly Credited As: Lorne Greene
Birth Name: Lyon Himan Greene
Date Of Birth: February 12, 1915 (Age 72)
Country Of Birth: Canada
Birth Place: Ottawa, Ontario
Date Of Death: September 11, 1987
Cause Of Death: pneumonia following heart surgery
Height: 6' (1.82 m)
Lorne Greene, who starred as the head of the Cartwright family in the television series Bonanza for 14 years, died on September 11, 1987, of respiratory problems at the age of 72.
The Canadian-born Greene developed pneumonia after undergoing an operation for a perforated ulcer at St. John's Hospital in Los Angeles on Aug 19.
Greene's second wife, Nancy, and his three children, Charles and Julian Greene and Linda Bennett, were at his bedside at the hospital when he died.
The actor portrayed Ben Cartwright, a widower bringing up his three sons Little Joe, Adam and Hoss played by Michael Landon, Pernell Roberts and the late Dan Blocker respectively on the prosperous Ponderosa ranch in Bonanza from 1959 to 1973.
The show, one of the biggest hits of US television, is still seen in many parts of the world in reruns.
Landon, who went on to star in another hit series, Little House On The Prairie, said of Greene: "I saw him a few days ago and he was Ben Cartwright to the end. He was ready to go, and he had no complaints."
"He couldn't speak but he smiled, and when we held hands he went into an arm wrestle like we used to. I will never forget him."
After Bonanza was taken off the air, Greene went on to star as Commander Adama in the television series Battlestar Galactica. He also appeared in television commercials.
But it was as Ben Cartwright that he was known.
Born in Ottawa on Feb 12,1915, the 190cm tall actor became known, after attending Queen's University College, as "the voice of Canada".
He was soon announcing, in his rich, deep voice, as many as 15 radio shows a week.
A successful businessman who owned office buildings and warehouses, he went to New York to try to sell a new kind of stopwatch he had invented. The watch did not sell, but a producer gave him a role in a television production of George Orwell's At the age of 38, Greene became an actor.
Six years later, he won a starring role in Bonanza and never looked back. "I believe the show was a success because it was about people who loved and respected each other," he said.
Greene based his interpretation of his role after his own father, Daniel Greene. "I don't know whether I could ever match my father as a person, but as an actor I try to be like him," he once said.
Roberts left the show after six seasons and went on to star in his own television series, Trapper John. Blocker died in the 13th year of Bonanza.
He once built a replica in Arizona of the Ponderosa ranch house set, complete with a staircase that led to nowhere. But unlike the sometimes stern, humourless Cartwright, Greene was full of good spirits and often joked with his co-stars.
He also appeared on a number of television variety shows and recorded such hit records as Ringo. Destiny and Five Card Stud, in which he talked rather than sang to the music. Ringo, about a renegade cowboy, was on the charts for 12 weeks in 1964.
Greene remained a Canadian citizen, although he took an active part in US Democratic Party politics.
In 1980, the white-haired Greene, who at one time owned a string of racehorses and was an animal lover, published a book entitled The Lorne Greene Book Of Remarkable Animals.
He had twins by his first marriage and a child by his marriage to the former Nancy Deale.