- Category : Entertainment-News-journalist-Anchor
- Type : PE
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Revolution 1
Canadian-American imposing 6'2 actor and newscaster. Greene gained TV success as the cowboy patriarch of the Ponderosa in "Bonanza." After his series, he became typecast in father figure roles.
An only child born in Ottawa, Canada was raised by his mother, Dora, and his Russian-Jewish immigrant shoemaker father, Daniel. He developed the habit of skipping class in grade school when the weather was beautiful. He forged many notes to the principal without his parent's knowledge, until he realized that he never wanted to displease his dad again, the day his father caught on to his school trick.
In 1932, he enrolled in Queen's University in Kingston, Canada. He planned to major in chemical engineer but found his true career love was in the drama department. Joining the Drama Guild, he produced, directed and acted in many of the company's productions. After graduation from the university, he enrolled in a two-year fellowship with the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York. Upon returning to Canada, he discovered the hardship of trying to find acting work. World War II started in Europe and Greene worked as a newscaster of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He became known as "The Voice of Canada." Tired of working as a commercial pitchman, Greene left Canada in 1953 to pursue his acting dreams in New York.
After a meeting with a TV executive at Rockefeller Center in New York, Greene ran into an acquaintance and fellow Canadian Fletcher Markle. Markle directed the CBS drama show "Studio One" and invited Greene to act for the CBS television show. His dramatic role in the TV adaptation of George Orwell's book "1984" caught the attention and praise of television critics. He went on to work on Broadway, TV and films. A guest appearance on "Wagon Train" led to the starring role of the Patriarch of the Ponderosa, Ben Cartwright in the "Bonanza" TV series. The show made a debut on 9/02/1959 and it ran on American television for 13 seasons, airing in 80 countries, though it lacked a solid audience for the first five years. By 1964, "Bonanza" cracked into the top rating's position and stayed at the top for the next three seasons. Greene used his baritone voice to portray a caring widowed father of three grown sons. The show was so popular with the family audience that L. B. Johnson refused to schedule his presidential speeches during the "Bonanza" hour. In January 1973, "Bonanza" was canceled. Greene tried to find other roles to play but soon found his image typecast. He accepted another father figure part in the space TV program, "Battlestar Galactica," 1978-79. In 1982, he began the animal and environment series, "Lorne Greene's New Wilderness" in Toronto. He enjoyed working on the series until his death in 1987.
Greene's first marriage to Rita Hands produced twins Belinda Susan and Charles in 1945. After his divorce, he married actress, Nancy Deale in 1961. He met her while directing her in a play. Their daughter, Gillian was born in January 1968.
Greene became a multi-millionaire during the run of his "Bonanza" series. He invested his money in real estate and owned a string of thoroughbred horses in Southern California. He was named Canada's Man of the Year in 1965. He was given an NAACP award for refusing to perform for a segregated audience in Alabama. Because the scripts were so bad in the early years of the "Bonanza" show, in January 1960, Greene met with the producer and told him, "That an actor wouldn't wipe his ass with any page from any one of the scripts we'd done. That got his attention."
On 3/27/1985, Greene went to the hospital for prostate cancer surgery. During the three and a half hour operation, doctors thought he developed a blood clot near his lungs. After the operation, they discovered his lung tissue was fine and healthy. At 70, Greene was in good physical shape and the cancer operation was a success. On 9/11/1987, he developed pneumonia following ulcer surgery and he died at 12:14 PM at Saint John's Hospital in Santa Monica, CA.