Loren Greene - aka Ben Cartwright

Loren Greene, born Lyon Chaim Green, was born in Ottawa, Ontario Canada on February 12, 1915 to Russian Jewish immigrants, Daniel and Dora Green. He began acting while attending Canada’s Queen’s University. After graduation, he worked in radio broadcasting and soon became Canada’s top newscaster.

He left Canada in the early 1950’s for a film career in Hollywood and began appearing regularly in television, films and on radio. His greatest successes came in two television series, the long-running western Bonanza and in the science fiction film and television series Battlestar Galactica.

Set in Nevada in the 1860s, Bonanza followed the adventures of the Cartwright family. Ben Cartwright (Greene) was the wealthy owner of a large ranch called the Ponderosa. Widowed three times, Ben had a son by each of his wives; the eldest being Adam, played by Pernell Roberts, the middle son Hoss, played by Dan Blocker and the youngest son, Little Joe, played by Michael Landon.

The show was an hour long western drama based on Pa Cartwright’s love for his sons and the Ponderosa ranch. Bonanza ran for almost 14 years before being cancelled abruptly midway into the 1972-73 season.

Greene’s next role was that of Commander Adama in the television series Battlestar Galactica (1978-1979) and Galactica 1980 (1980). Again, he played a father figure.
In the 1960s, Greene capitalized on his Pa Cartwright image by recording several albums of country-western/folk songs, which Greene performed in a mixture of spoken word and singing. In 1964, he had a #1 single on the music charts with his ballad, “Ringo”.

Loren Green died of pneumonia on September 11, 1987 in Santa Monica, California at the age of 72. He was interred at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery, Culver City, California.

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