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A radio host, singer, and actor from Canada, Lorne Hyman Greene. Even though his 14-year run as Ben Cartwright on the TV show “Bonanza” ended more than 40 years ago, this enormous star still looms huge for his outstanding performance. Although he was already working as an actor, the producers of “Bonanza” first became aware of him when he appeared in a 1959 episode of the TV show “Wagon Train.” Before he became a member of the “Bonanza” cast, he gained popularity with fans as the star of “Sailor of Fortune” in 1957. In addition to acting, Lorne was a vocalist who worked on two “Bonanza” albums with Dan Blocker, Michael Landon, and Pernell Roberts. He produced the “Welcome to the Ponderosa” album as a solo artist, which peaked at No. 35 on the Billboard list. He was the author of several well-known singles, such as “As Time Goes By” and “You Make Me Feel So Young.” Greene received numerous more honors in addition to being decorated with the title of Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2006, Canada Post honored him by including him on a 51-cent stamp.

Early Childhood & Life

Daniel Green, a shoemaker, and Dora Green welcomed Lorne Greene into the world on February 12, 1915, in Ottawa, Ontario. His parents were immigrants who were Russian Jews. Although Lorne was given the name Lyon Himan Green at birth, it is unknown when he started using the name “Lorne” or when he added an “e” to Green.

While a student at Queen’s University in Kingston, he developed a passion for radio programming for CFRC. He abandoned a job in chemical engineering to pursue his acting aspirations.
He returned to Canada in 1939 after completing his acting training at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York. He was a Flying Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II.

Career of Lorne Greene

While a student at Queen’s University, Lorne Greene started acting. At Camp Arowhon, a summer camp in Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, he was the drama instructor.

He started working as a radio announcer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) after graduating. He rose to become the anchor of CBC National News. He was known as “The Voice of Canada” at CBC. But because of his deep, powerful voice, which he used to proclaim the list of World War II dead, many listeners dubbed him “The Voice of Doom.”

He also provided the narration for National Film Board of Canada documentaries at CBC, including “Fighting Norway” in 1943 and “Churchill’s Island” in 1941.

He founded the Academy of Radio Arts, a training facility for authors, actors, directors, and production staff, in Toronto in 1945. James Doohan of Star Trek renown, Leslie Nielsen of TV and cinema, and Gordie Tapp of TV and writing were some of the school’s alumni.

He played the title part in an hour-long dramatization of Shakespeare’s “Othello” in 1953. He made his Hollywood debut in the 1954 film “The Silver Chalice.” He appeared in a “You Are There” episode from 1955.

In 1953, he appeared in two Broadway musicals by Katharine Cornell: “The Prescott Proposals” and “The Dark is Light Enough.” He appeared in the 1957 American drama movie “Peyton Place.”

He was also chosen as the star of the British-produced, half-hour television series “Sailor of Fortune,” which was shown across the US in 1957. In 1957 and 1958, he worked on two western movies, The Hard Man and The Last of the Fast Guns.

Lorne became well-known thanks to his role as Ben “Pa” Cartwright in the television sitcom “Bonanza,” which debuted on NBC in 1959 and ran for 14 seasons until 1973.

In the 1960s, he produced a number of albums of country-western and folk songs to capitalize on his reputation as Ben Cartwright. His spoken-word ballad “Ringo” hit the charts in 1964.

After “Bonanza” eventually ended in 1973, he joined the ABC crime thriller “Griff,” which starred Wade “Griff” Griffin as a retired police officer who now works as a private investigator. However, due to insufficient viewership, the show was canceled after 13 episodes.

In 1974–75, Lorne served as the host of the documentary series “Last of the Wild.” He played John Reynolds, the first master of Kunta Kinte, in the 1977 miniseries “Roots.”

He served as the spokesperson for the Alpo Beef Chunks dog food commercials in the 1970s. His portrayal of Commander Adama in the science fiction TV series “Battlestar Galactica,” which aired from 1978 to 1979, also made him well renowned. In the 1981 television series “Code Red,” he portrayed a different father figure who led his children under his leadership. Additionally, he appeared in a “Highway to Heaven” episode and a “Vega$” two-part episode.

He dedicated himself to the protection of wildlife and environmental causes in the 1980s, hosting and narrating nature programs like “Lorne Greene’s New Wilderness,” a program that raised awareness of environmental challenges.

Major Projects of Lorne Greene

Battlestar Galactica and Bonanza, two television shows he created, helped Lorne Greene achieve widespread fame. Even though it faced fierce competition from other shows, “Bonanza” ended up being a big hit. Ben Cartwright, a character from his television series “Bonanza,” was ranked second among American “TV Fathers” by TV Guide in 2007. Cliff Huxtable ranked first. Despite the short-lived success of “Battlestar Galactica,” Lorne received praise for his portrayal of Commander Adama.

Recognition & Achievements

On October 28, 1969, Lorne Greene received recognition for his contributions to the performing arts and the community by being named an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Queen’s University bestowed upon him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1971.

He was crowned the Krewe of Bacchus King of Mardi Gras in February 1985.
At the Canadian Gemini Awards in 1987, he received the Earle Grey Award for Lifetime Achievement.

At 1559 N. Vine Street, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He was honored by Canada Post by being depicted on a 51-cent postage stamp in May 2006. He was among the first four artists to receive recognition from the postal service.
He was honored with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2015.

Individual Life of Lorne Greene

In 1938, Toronto native Rita Hands became Lorne Greene’s wife. In 1960, the couple got a divorce. Charles Greene and Belinda Susan Greene, now known as Linda Greene Bennett, were twins, and they were born in 1945.

Nancy Deale and Lorne were wed in 1961, and they remained so until his passing. Gillian Dania Greene was their daughter’s name.
The Ponderosa II House, which is now on the Mesa Historic Property Register, was built by Lorne in Mesa, Arizona, in 1960. It is a reproduction of the house from the “Bonanza” set.

After having an ulcer surgically removed, Lorne passed away in Santa Monica, California, on September 11, 1987, as a result of complications from pneumonia.
My Father’s Voice: The Biography of Lorne Greene, his daughter Linda Greene Bennett’s biography, was published in 2004.

Lorne Greene’s Net Worth

After accounting for inflation, Lorne Greene’s net worth at the time of his passing was $10 million. He was a Canadian actor, singer, and radio host. In February 1915, Lorne Greene was born in Ottawa, Ontario, and he died in September 1987. He appeared in the television series Sailor of Fortune from 1955 to 1958 as Capt. Grant “Mitch” Mitchell. Ben Cartwright, a character he played on the television series Bonanza from 1959 to 1973, was one of his most well-known performances. From 1973 to 1974, Greene played Wade Griffin on the television show Griff. He played Commander Adama in the television series Battlestar Galactica from 1978 to 1979. From 1981 to 1982, Greene played Battalion Chief Joe Rorchek on the television show Code Red. He was shown on an episode of the nature-focused television program Lorne Greene’s New Wilderness. In addition, he voiced The Wizard in the 1982 film The Wizard of Oz and appeared in a number of other movies. In addition to being nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 1964 for Bonanza, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1985 at 1551 Vine Street. On September 11, 1987, pneumonia claimed the life of 72-year-old Lorne Greene.

Trivia

He is renowned for creating a stopwatch that ran backward, which was used by radio broadcasters to gauge their remaining speaking time.