A man of many talents, Lorne Greene first made his mark in show biz as "The Voice of Canada" using his voice to broadcast news of World War II. After switching his focus to acting, Greene began garnering roles in TV and movies, many of them Westerns. A guest spot on Wagon Train
helped him land the plum role of Ben Cartwright, which catapulted him to fame. While starring on Bonanza
, Greene also recorded seven LPs for RCA Records, climbing all the way to the top of the charts with his No. 1 hit "Ringo" in 1964. The B-Side of the single had a lyrical version of the Bonanza
theme song. In 1969 he was awarded an Officer of the Order of Canada for his services to the performing arts and community. After Bonanza
, Green went on to several other TV roles, among them hosting Lorne Greene's New Wilderness
, playing the unforgettable Captain Adama on the original Battlestar Galactica
, and doing memorable spots for Alpo Dog Food. Greene also served as co-host of the Macys Thanksgiving Day parade with former Golden Girls
star Betty White. He died of pneumonia on Sept. 11, 1987 at the age of 72. Just before his death, he had signed on to reprise his role in a TV-movie version of Bonanza
; a flashback appearance on the new Battlestar Galactica
was also planned.
Righteous and strong, Ponderosa patriarch Ben Cartwright is a range-riding pillar of justice. Owning the largest ranch in Nevada makes him a hugely wealthy man, though he never forgets his humble roots. Ben is often found offering a helping hand to neighbors as well as strangers in times of need. He's wise and kind but sadly, no stranger to tragedy. A three-time widower, Ben has three sons -- Adam, Hoss and Little Joe -- each by a different wife. His family keeps him strong and sane in the never-a-dull moment world of ranching in the Wild West.