Lorne Greene

Canadian actor, musician, singer, and radio personality (1915–1987)

Lorne Greene (February 12, 1915 – September 11, 1987), was a Canadian actor and singer.

Lorne Greene
Lorne Greene, 1942
Lyon Himan "Chaim" Green

(1915-02-12)February 12, 1915
DiedSeptember 11, 1987(1987-09-11) (aged 72)
Cause of deathPneumonia
  • Actor
  • musician
  • radio personality
  • singer
Years active1941–1987
Spouse(s)Rita Hands (1938 – 1960)
Nancy Deale (December 17, 1961 – September 11, 1987; his death)
ChildrenBelinda Susan Bennet (née Greene)
Charles Greene
Gillian Dania Greene



Greene was born on February 12, 1915 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. His first movie was Churchill's Island (1941), as narrator. He was in films such as The Silver Chalice (1954), Autumn Leaves (1956), with Joan Crawford, Peyton Place (1957), with Lana Turner, The Buccaneer (1958), with Yul Brynner, and Earthquake (1974), with Charlton Heston.

Greene also had roles in some low-budget westerns, including The Last of the Fast Guns (1958), The Hangman (1959),

He also worked on the Japanese film Nippon chinbotsu (1974).



Greene gained fame in 1959 starring in the NBC western Bonanza. He played role of Ben Cartwright, the owner of the Ponderosa Ranch in Virginia City. Also in the series were Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright, Michael Landon as Joseph 'Little Joe' Cartwright, and Dan Blocker as Eric 'Hoss' Cartwright.

The series was a success and lasted for 14 seasons between 1959 and 1973.



In the early years of Greene's career, he made guest appearances on television shows including Ford Television Theatre (1953), Producers' Showcase (1955), General Motors Presents (1955), The United States Steel Hour (1956), Kraft Television Theatre (1957), Shirley Temple's Storybook (1958).

In 1955, he starred in his first series Sailor of Fortune, as Capt. Mitchell. The series was co-produced by Canada and Britain television, and lasted one season.

He was also a detective in Griff (1973-1974) created by Larry Cohen. Greene played Wade Griffin, a police officer with many years of service who leaves the force to become a private investigator

Another of his memorable roles was that of John Reynolds in the TV mini-series Roots (1977).

Greene continued to have success on television as the star of the science fiction series Battlestar Galactica (1978-1979), and Galactica (1980) where he played the role of Commander Adama. The series featured special effects never before seen on American television.