89 (passed away Feb. 27th, 2013)
Jul. 14th, 1923
Harrah, Oklahoma, USA
Dale Robertson's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Dale Robertson, the actor who made his name in television Westerns in the 1950s and '60s, was born on July 14, 1923, in Harrah, Oklahoma. After serving in a tank crew and in the combat engineers in North Africa and Europe during World War II, the twice-wounded Robertson started his acting career while still on active duty in the U.S. Army. While stationed at San Luis Obispo, California, had a photograph taken for his mother. A copy of the photo displayed in the photo shop window attracted movie scouts, and the six foot tall, 180-lb. Roberson soon was on his way to Hollywood. Will Rogers Jr., whose father is the most famous son of Oklahoma, told him to avoid formal training and keep his own persona
"Don't ever take a dramatic lesson," Rogers told him. "They will try to put your voice in a dinner jacket, and people like their hominy and grits in everyday clothes." Robertson took his advice and avoided acting classes.
Robertson was typecast in Western movies and TV shows when the genre was still America's favorite. He headlined two TV series, "Tales of Wells Fargo" (1957), in which he played the roving trouble-shooter Jim Hardie, and "The Iron Horse" (1966), in which he won a railway in a poker game. He also served as one of the hosts, along with Ronald Reagan (I), of the syndicated series "Death Valley Days" (1952) during the 1960s. Robertson later appeared in the inaugural season of "Dynasty" (1981).
Robertson is a recipient of the Golden Boot Award in 1985, and was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers and the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. He is retired on a ranch near Oklahoma City, not far from his birthplace of Harrah.
- Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1983.
- According to an article on TV westerns in Time Magazine (March 30, 1959), Robertson stood 6 feet tall, weighed 180 lbs, and had chest-waist-hips measurements of 42-34-34
- At the age of 17 he was attending Oklahoma Military College, and boxing in professional prize fights to earn money. Harry Cohn approached him after a fight in Wichita, Kansas and asked him to come out to Hollywood to play the role of Joe Bonaparte in a boxing picture called "Golden Boy." Robertson refused, saying he was in the middle of training 17 polo ponies, and could not leave his family at his age. 'William Holden (I)' (qv) eventually was cast in the _Golden Boy (1939)_ (qv) role.
- Robertson entered the U.S. Army during World War II. After stateside training he served as a tank commander in the 777th Tank Battalion in the North African campaign. He was standing in the hatch when his tank was hit by enemy fire. His tank crew were killed, but he was blown out of the hatch and survived with shrapnel wounds to his lower legs, the scars of which he still bears. Fully recovered, he went on to serve with the 322nd Combat Engineer Battalion during the European campaign. He was wounded a second time, this one in the right knee during a mortar attack. Again he made a complete recovery.
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