The Info List - Lorne Greene

Lorne Hyman Greene,[1] OC (born Lyon Himan Green;[2] February 12, 1915 – September 11, 1987) was a Canadian actor, radio personality, and singer. His television roles include Ben Cartwright on the western Bonanza, and Commander Adama in the original science fiction television series Battlestar Galactica and Galactica 1980. He also worked on the Canadian television nature documentary series Lorne Greene's New Wilderness, and in television commercials.


1 Early life and career in Canada 2 American television 3 Personal life 4 Death 5 Honors/Awards 6 Filmography 7 Discography

7.1 Albums 7.2 Singles

8 See also 9 References 10 External links

Early life and career in Canada[edit]

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Greene was born Lyon Himan Green in Ottawa, Ontario,[2] to Russian Jewish immigrants, Dora (née Grinovsky) and Daniel Green, a shoemaker.[3] He was called "Chaim" by his mother, and his name is shown as "Hyman" on his school report cards. In his biography, the author, his daughter Linda Greene Bennett, stated that it was not known when he began using "Lorne", nor when he added an "e" to Green.[2] Greene was the drama instructor at Camp Arowhon, a summer camp in Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, where he developed his talents. Greene began acting while attending Queen's University
Queen's University
in Kingston, where he acquired a knack for broadcasting with the Radio
Workshop of the university's Drama Guild on the campus radio station CFRC. He gave up on a career in chemical engineering and, upon graduation, found a job as a radio broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting
Corporation (CBC). During World War II
World War II
Green served as a Flying officer
Flying officer
in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was assigned as the principal newsreader on the CBC National News. The CBC gave him the nickname "The Voice of Canada"; however, his role in delivering distressing war news in sonorous tones with his deep, resonant voice following Canada's entry into World War II
World War II
in 1939 caused many listeners to call him "The Voice of Doom", particularly since he was delegated the assignment of reading the dreaded list of soldiers killed in the war. During his radio days, Greene invented a stopwatch that ran backwards;[4] this helped radio announcers gauge how much time was left while speaking. He narrated documentary films, such as the National Film Board of Canada's Fighting Norway
Fighting Norway
(1943). In 1957 Greene played the prosecutor in Peyton Place. Katharine Cornell
Katharine Cornell
cast him twice in her Broadway productions. In 1953, he was cast in The Prescott Proposals. In that same year, she cast him in a verse drama by Christopher Fry, The Dark is Light Enough. Greene began appearing in isolated episodes on live television in the 1950s. In 1953, he was seen in the title role of a one-hour adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello. In 1955 he was Ludwig van Beethoven in an episode of the TV version of You Are There. In 1954 he made his Hollywood debut as Saint Peter
Saint Peter
in The Silver Chalice and made several more films and appearances on American television.[citation needed] American television[edit]

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Greene as Ben Cartwright 1959

Greene's Ponderosa II House in Mesa, Arizona

The first of his continuing TV roles was as the patriarch Ben "Pa" Cartwright in Bonanza; the first one-hour western series filmed in colour (1959–1973), making Greene a household name. He garnered the role after his performance as O'Brien in the CBS production of Nineteen Eighty-Four. In the 1960s, Greene capitalized on his image as Benjamin "Pa" Cartwright by recording several albums of country-western/folk songs, which Greene performed in a mixture of spoken word and singing. In 1964, Greene had a #1 single on the music charts with his spoken-word ballad, "Ringo" (which referred to the real-life Old West outlaw Johnny Ringo, not to Ringo Starr
Ringo Starr
of the Beatles), and got a lot of play time from "Saga of the Ponderosa", which detailed the Cartwright founding of the famous ranch. In 1973, after the cancellation of Bonanza
following a 14-year run, Greene joined Ben Murphy
Ben Murphy
in the ABC crime drama, Griff, about a Los Angeles, California, police officer, Wade "Griff" Griffin, who retires to become a private detective. When it failed to gain sufficient ratings and was cancelled after 13 episodes, Greene thereafter hosted the syndicated nature documentary series Last of the Wild from 1974-75.[5] In the 1977 miniseries Roots, he played the first master of Kunta Kinte, John Reynolds. Through the 1970s, Greene was the spokesman for Alpo Beef Chunks dog food commercials, one of the possible origins of the phrase "Eating your own dog food". In 2007, TV Guide listed Ben Cartwright as the nation's second most popular TV Father (behind Cliff Huxtable). Greene was also known for his role as Commander Adama, another patriarchal figure, in the science fiction television series Battlestar Galactica (1978–1979) and Galactica 1980
Galactica 1980
(1980). Greene's typecasting as a wise father character continued with the 1981 series Code Red as a fire department chief, whose command includes his children as subordinates. Greene appeared with his former Bonanza co-star Michael Landon
Michael Landon
on an episode of Highway to Heaven. Greene also appeared with his former Bonanza
co-star Pernell Roberts
Pernell Roberts
on a two-part episode of Vega$. In the 1980s Greene devoted his energies to wildlife and environmental issues, including hosting and narrating the nature series Lorne Greene's New Wilderness, a show that promoted environmental awareness.[6] He appeared in the HBO
mockumentary The Canadian Conspiracy, about the supposed subversion of the United States
United States
by Canadian-born media personalities. For nearly a decade, Greene co-hosted the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC
with Betty White. He is also fondly remembered as the founder of Toronto's Academy of Radio
Arts (originally called the Lorne Greene
Lorne Greene
School of Broadcasting).[citation needed] Personal life[edit]

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Greene was married twice, first to Rita Hands of Toronto
(1938–1960, divorced). Some reports list the start of their marriage as 1940. They had two children, twins born in 1945: Charles Greene and Mrs. Belinda Susan Bennett. His second wife was Nancy Deale (1961–1987, Greene's death), with whom he had one child, Gillian Dania Greene. The Ponderosa II House was built by Greene in 1960 in Mesa, Arizona. It is located at 602 S. Edgewater Drive. It is a replica of the Bonanza
set house from the former Ponderosa Ranch in Incline Village, Nevada. It is listed in the Mesa Historic Property Register. Death[edit] Greene died on September 11, 1987, aged 72, from complications from pneumonia, following ulcer surgery, in Santa Monica, California. He was interred at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery
Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery
in Culver City.[citation needed][7] Honors/Awards[edit] Greene was made an Officer of the Order of Canada
Order of Canada
on October 28, 1969, "For services to the Performing Arts and to the community."[8] Greene was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by his alma mater, Queen's University, in 1971.[9] He was the 1987 recipient of the Earle Grey Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Canadian Gemini Awards. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame
at 1559 N. Vine Street. In May 2006, Greene became one of the first four entertainers to ever be honored by Canada Post
Canada Post
by being featured on a 51-cent postage stamp.[7] In February 1985, Greene was the Krewe of Bacchus
Krewe of Bacchus
King of Mardi Gras.[10] Greene was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame
Canada's Walk of Fame
in 2015.[11] Filmography[edit]

Churchill's Island
Churchill's Island
(1941) as Narrator Warclouds in the Pacific (1941) as Narrator Inside Fighting China
Inside Fighting China
(1941) as Narrator Flight 6 (1944) as Narrator Othello
(1953) (television) as Othello The Philip Morris Playhouse (one episode, 1953) as Joe Omnibus (one episode, 1953) as Ed Bailey Danger (one episode, 1954) as Stranger The Silver Chalice (1954) as Saint Peter Justice (one episode, 1954, "The Desperate One") You Are There (three episodes, 1954–1955) as Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven
/ Charles Stewart Parnell Tight Spot
Tight Spot
(1955) as Benjamin Costain Climax!
(one episode, 1955) as Dr. Charles Saunders The Elgin Hour
The Elgin Hour
(one episode, 1955) as Vernon Dyall Studio 57
Studio 57
(one episode, 1955) as Gentry Morton Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
(one episode, 1956) as Mr. X Autumn Leaves (1956) as Mr. Hanson The Alcoa Hour
The Alcoa Hour
(one episode, 1956) as Sheriff Gash Armstrong Circle Theatre (one episode, 1956) as Angelina The United States
United States
Steel Hour (one episode, 1956) as Dallas Kraft Television Theatre
Kraft Television Theatre
(one episode, 1957) as Colonel Matthews Playhouse 90
Playhouse 90
(one episode, 1957) as Lowell Williams Studio One (five episodes, 1953–1957) Peyton Place (1957) as Prosecutor The Hard Man (1957) as Rice Martin The Gift of Love
The Gift of Love
(1958) as Grant Allan Suspicion (one episode, 1958) as Monty The Last of the Fast Guns (1958) as Michael O'Reilly Shirley Temple's Storybook
Shirley Temple's Storybook
(one episode, 1958) as King Bertrand The Buccaneer (1958) as Mercier The Trap (1959) as Davis Bonanza
(430 episodes, 1959–1973) as Ben Cartwright The Third Man
The Third Man
(one episode, 1959) The Gale Storm Show
The Gale Storm Show
(one episode, 1959) as Constable Barnaby The Hangman (1959) as Marshal Clum Cummings Mike Hammer
Mike Hammer
(two episodes, 1959) as Carl Kunard, Emmett Gates Bronco (TV series)
Bronco (TV series)
(one episode, 1959) as Capt. Amos Carr Wagon Train
Wagon Train
(one episode, 1959) as Christopher Webb Cheyenne
(two episodes, 1960) as Colonel Bell The Errand Boy
The Errand Boy
(1961) as Ben Cartwright - Cameo (uncredited) The Legend of Amaluk: An Arctic Odyssey (1972) as Narrator Tidal Wave (1973) as Ambassador Warren Richards Griff (12 episodes, 1973–1974) as Wade Griffin Earthquake (1974) as Sam Royce Nevada Smith (1975) as Jonas Cord The Moneychangers
The Moneychangers
(1976) as George Quartermain Roots (two episodes, 1977) as John Reynolds SST: Death Flight (1977) as Marshall Cole The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (two episodes, 1977) as Inspector Hans Stavlin The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald (1977) as Matthew Arnold Watson Yabba Dabba Doo! The Happy World of Hanna-Barbera
Yabba Dabba Doo! The Happy World of Hanna-Barbera
(1977) as Special Guest The Bastard (1978) as Bishop Francis Battlestar Galactica (21 episodes, 1978–1979) as Commander Adama The Love Boat
The Love Boat
(three episodes, 1979–1982) asBuck Hamilton / Buddy Bowers Klondike Fever
Klondike Fever
(1980) as Sam Steele Galactica 1980
Galactica 1980
(10 episodes, 1980) as Commander Adama Living Legend: The King of Rock and Roll (1980) Pink Lady (one episode, 1980) Vega$
(two episodes, 1980) as Emil Remick A Time for Miracles
A Time for Miracles
(1980) as Bishop John Carroll Aloha Paradise (one episode, 1981) as Businessman The Wizard of Oz (1982) as The Wizard (voice) Code Red (12 episodes, 1981–1982) as Battalion Chief Joe Rorchek Police Squad!
Police Squad!
(one episode, 1982) as Stabbed Man Heidi's Song
Heidi's Song
(1982) as Grandfather (voice) The Nutcracker: A Fantasy on Ice (1983) as Himself / Narrator [12] Highway to Heaven
Highway to Heaven
(one episode, 1985) as Fred Fusco Noah's Ark
Noah's Ark
(1986) as Noah (voice) Vasectomy: A Delicate Matter (1986) as Theo Marshall The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory (1987) as General Sam Houston
Sam Houston
(final film role)

Discography[edit] Albums[edit]

Year Album US Label

1961 Robin Hood of El Dorado — MGM

1962 Bonanza
Ponderosa Party Time — RCA

1963 Young at Heart —

Christmas on the Ponderosa —

1964 Peter and the Wolf —

Welcome to the Ponderosa 35

1965 The Man —

American West —

Have a Happy Holiday 54

1966 Portrait of the West —


Year Single Chart Positions Album

CAN Country US [13] US Country US AC

1962 "My Sons My Sons" — — — — Bonanza
Ponderosa Party Time

1963 "I'm the Same Ole Me" — — — — single only

1964 "Ringo" — 1 21 1 Welcome to the Ponderosa

1965 "The Man" 3 72 — — The Man

"Ol' Tin Cup" — — — — Welcome to the Ponderosa

1966 "Five Card Stud" — 112 — — American West

"Daddy's Little Girl" — — — — singles only

"Waco" — — 50 —

1969 "It's All in the Game" — — — —

1970 "Daddy (I'm Proud to Be Your Son)" — — — —

"First Word" — — — —

1976 "Spirit of America" — — — —

See also[edit]

portal Canada portal Music portal Television in Canada portal

Canadian pioneers in early Hollywood Western (genre)


^ Lorne Hyman Greene per Social Security records, ancestry.com; accessed October 6, 2016. ^ a b c Bennett, Linda Greene (November 1, 2004). My Father's Voice: The Biography
of Lorne Greene
Lorne Greene
(Paperback ed.). iUniverse, Inc. p. 254. ISBN 978-0-595-33283-0.  ^ "Newsmakers 1988". google.ca. Retrieved August 27, 2015.  ^ "Lorne Greene, TV Patriarch, Is Dead", New York Times, September 12, 1987. ^ Last of the Wild (documentary, hosted by Lorne Greene) At Classic Themes.com ^ "Bonanza's Canadian Lorne Greene
Lorne Greene
Bite Size Canada". Tkmorin.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2016-10-06.  ^ a b " Lorne Greene
Lorne Greene
– Postage Stamp". Google Search. Retrieved February 12, 2015.  ^ "Order of Canada". Gg.ca. 30 April 2009. Archived from the original on 26 January 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2009.  ^ "Queen's Encyclopedia". Qnc.queensu.ca. 7 November 1995. Archived from the original on 24 April 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2009.  ^ "2010 Krewe of Bacchus
Krewe of Bacchus
New Orleans Mardi Gras Parade Schedule 2010". Mardi Gras Parade Schedule. Retrieved September 17, 2009.  ^ " Canada's Walk of Fame
Canada's Walk of Fame
2015 Inductees". Canadaswalkoffame.com. Retrieved 2016-10-06.  ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0300277/ ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 376. ISBN 0-89820-188-8. 

External links[edit]

Lorne Greene
Lorne Greene
on IMDb Lorne Greene
Lorne Greene
at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
"Lorne Greene". Find a Grave. Retrieved 13 September 2016. 

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 79172961 LCCN: n80015812 ISNI: 0000 0001 0784 3498 GND: 134830423 SUDOC: 181700204 BNF: cb14024939m (data) MusicBrainz: e9d0b534-f1ed-4260-8e95-2b3b191d14c4 NLA: 35137896 BNE: XX1507301 SN