Lorne Greene’s real name was Lyon Himan “Chaim” Greene, and this Canadian actor became very famous during the 60’s and the 70’s, when he was filming a popular western TV show Bonanza.
During his life (1915-1987) Greene played in famous TV series like Bonanza and original Battlestar Galactica, and also hosted an award winning documentary titled Lorne Greene’s New Wilderness. Since he was a huge animal lover, he gladly worked on this interesting project and also became a popular dog food spokesman.
Greene was born in Ottawa, where he finished school and afterwards went to Kingston to attend University. His first serious job (which led to his acting career) was on CBC network, where he was a main news presenter. His first American role gained huge popularity since he was casted as Ben Cartwright in Bonanza, most popular of all TV shows he later participated in. Lorne Greene was an instant success as a widower Ben and he got along very well with his co-stars Michael Landon and Dan Blocker (who also became famous worldwide thanks to Bonanza).
His character Ben Cartwright was a patriarchal figure, honest, strong, smart and reliable, and millions of fans adored him for being personifying that. His fellow cast mates always stated how great he was as a co-worker and how they enjoyed working with him.
Another patriarchal hero he later played helped him become critically acclaimed. It was the role of Commander Adama, in original TV series Battlestar Galactica (one of the first ultra successful Sci-Fi dramas, broadcasted on TV).
Greene parallel developed his singing career, and he was quite popular for his half spoken half sang songs, in a folk manner. Most popular one is certainly Ringo, which reached no.1 position on music charts.
The actor was never obsessed with fame, and stayed unchanged despite the fame he reached. He was married twice, and has left two children behind.
Greene was also famous for his movies, like Man on the Outside, Nevada Smith and The Bastards, and since he had a remarkable strong voice, he often did the voiceover for many TV films and commercials. TV series about wild animals and wildlife, named Lorne Greene’s New Wilderness showed his true and undying love for animals and nature, and he paid tribute to his other passion – music, by hosting A Gift of Music (TV show).
Lorne Greene was a remarkable TV personality and highly acclaimed artist in his homeland, and he was also awarded The O.C. in 1969 (Officer of the Order of Canada) – a special award for amazing services to community and the performing arts.
True Sci Fi fans, also adore this actor for his contribution to Battlestar Galactica, and he is also the only cast member who played in every episode of both original Battlestar Galactica and remake/spinoff - Galactica 1980.
Lorne Greene was also invited to reprise his role in Bonanza remake but unfortunately, the plan fell through due to his illness. The famous actor died of cancer in 1987 (he was 72) in Santa Monica, where he lived.