Hollywood Remains to Be Seen

Lorne Greene
1915 - 1987

Hillside Memorial Park

Lorne Greene is best known as Ben Cartwright, the patriarch of the Ponderosa ranch on the long-running Western series, "Bonanza."

After a successful career as the top newscaster in Canada, at radio station CBO in Ottawa, Greene came to Hollywood and made his film debut as Saint Peter in "The Silver Chalice" (1954). After appearing in supporting roles in "Autumn Leaves" (1956), "Peyton Place" (1957) and "The Buccaneer" (1958), Greene won the role as Ben Cartwright on "Bonanza," which debuted in 1959.

Greene was only 13 years older than two of the actors who played his sons -- Dan Blocker and Pernell Roberts -- and only 21 years older than his third son -- Michael Landon -- but his deep, authoritative voice and silver hair made him convincing in the role. "Bonanza" wasn't a traditional Western in that problems weren't usually solved with gunfire. Instead, the show explored the relationships within the Cartwright family, and the problems and issues they faced in the outside world, and usually ended with Greene helping his sons learn a valuable life lesson.

After "Bonanza" ended in 1973, Greene starred in the television series "Griff" from 1973 to 1974, "Battlestar Galactica" from 1978 to 1980, and "Code Red" from 1981 to 1982. Greene also had a relatively successful, if often ridiculed, recording career. His spoken-word recording of "Ringo" reached number one on the Billboard charts in 1964.

Greene's grave marker identifies him as "The world's best loved father, Ben Cartwright" and "the great voice of Canada."

Greene was born on Feb. 12, 1915, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He died on Sept. 11, 1987, in Santa Monica, CA.

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