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Thursday, 12 February 2015

Lorne Greene born 12 February 1915

Lyon Himan Green, OC (February 12, 1915 – September 11, 1987), better known by the stage name Lorne Greene, was a Canadian actor and musician.

His television roles include Ben Cartwright on the western Bonanza, and Commander Adama in the 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.

Lyon Chaim Green was born February 12, 1915, in Ottawa, Ontario. His parents were Russian Jewish immigrants to Canada, Daniel and Dora Green. He attended Lisgar Collegiate Institute (a public high school), where he earned his diploma in 1932. He then attended Queens University in Kingston, where he majored in chemical engineering. He was also involved drama and worked at the school radio station, CFRC. An excellent student, his professors had the idea that the young man was going to be a wonderful chemical engineer. But he changed majors in the middle of his college career and took a degree in languages so he could spend more time with drama activities.

When he graduated from Queens in 1937, rather than go into
engineering, he went in for broadcasting, he spent some time in New York City to get some honest to goodness drama training. Unfortunately, being at the deepest depths of the Depression, there were no jobs and he was not a US citizen. So he went back to Canada. He walked into the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) studios in Ottawa and was hired on the spot, thanks to his, low booming voice, even as a young adult.

In 1938 he married Rita Hands; they would have two children, twins born in 1945 named Susan and Charles.In 1939, he became the principal newsreader for CBC's national evening news broadcasts. It was also this time he became known as Lorne Greene, which was based on his birth name. Having an unusual deep, rich voice, when they heard his voice, they said they had to have him. The Canadian Broadcasting Company billed him as the Voice of Canada. To most Canadians listening to the radio in 1939-42, he became known as the Voice of Doom, because when they heard his voice, it was normally tragic news about the war in Europe.He also narrated a number of documentary films for schools.

From late 1942 to early 1945 Lorne served as a flying officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force.When he returned from military service he went in more for acting. He began acting on the radio and worked in television as soon as it became available. Lorne helped establish the Academy of Radio Arts (founded as the Lorne
Greene School of Broadcasting) and the Jupiter Theatre (1951).
In 1953, he made the move to California to try his luck at Hollywood acting. He got a lot of acting work on television and his booming voice also helped him to get work as narrator for more of those school documentary films,when times were lean.

The biggest break in his life was when he was cast as Ben Cartwright in the dramatic western series, Bonanza. Debuting in 1959 on NBC, it would be the defining role of his life. In 1964, Greene had a #1 single on the music charts with his spoken-word ballad, "Ringo".

Lorne would go on to do animal shows and dog food commercials, but he would always be Ben Cartwright, the owner of the Ponderosa Ranch for those of us who watched him every week through September 1973. This was one of the greatest family television shows of all time.

He also had another television series hit in "Battlestar Galactia" which ran from 1978 to 1980. His last role was as General Sam Houston, in the television movie "Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory" (1987). He had accepted the role of ‘Ben Cartwright’ in a television movie reprise of "Bonanza" but died before it could be filmed.

Lorne Greene died September 11, 1987, following heart surgery in Santa Monica, California. He was 72 years old. Married twice, first to Rita Hands (1938-60) and then to Nancy Deale (1961-87), he was the father of three children. Green is buried at Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City, California. (Info mainly from Know Old Time Radio blogspot)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For Lorne Greene “Portrait of the West”(1966) go here;
01 The Search 3:13
02 Dig, Dig, Dig, Dig (There's No More Water In The Well) 2:09
03 Ol' Cyclone 2:34
04 Twilight On The Trail 2:22
05 Geronimo 2:43
06 Mule Train 2:10
07 I'm A Gun 3:30
08 Gunslinger's Prayer 2:27
09 Nellie Cole 3:06
10 Home On The Range 2:58
11 Virginia Town 2:01
12 The Place Where I Worship 3:47