Star of Westerns and soap operas;
Born: July 14, 1923; Died: February 27, 2013.
Dale Robertson, who has died aged 89, was a star of television and movie Westerns during the heyday of the genre in the 1950s. He played Jesse James in Fighting Man Of The Plains in 1949 and had prominent roles in television series such as Tales Of Wells Fargo and Death Valley Days. To all but a few dedicated Western fans, he became a slightly obscure figure although he re-emerged as a soap star in the 1980s, in Dallas and Dynasty.
Born Dayle Lymoine Robertson to Melvin and Vervel Robertson in Harrah, Oklahoma, Robertson attended Oklahoma Military College at 17 and boxed in professional prize fights to earn money.
He joined the US Army and fought in North Africa and Europe during the Second World War. He was wounded twice and awarded the Bronze and Silver Stars and the Purple Heart.
While stationed at San Luis Obispo in California, he had a photograph taken for his mother. A copy of the photo displayed in the photo shop window attracted movie scouts, and the handsome, 6ft Robertson was soon on his way to Hollywood.
He started out with bit parts in films including the bizarre 1948 comedy-drama The Boy With The Green Hair and the Joan Crawford vehicle Flamingo Road the following year. His first big part was Jesse James in Fighting Man Of The Plains and he went on to star in more than 60 movies.
In the 1950s, he moved into television, starring in Tales Of Wells Fargo (1957-62), Iron Horse (1966) and Death Valley Days (1968-70). He later won a role in the first season of Dynasty in the 1980s, but it was not to his taste and he was killed off after 15 episodes. "They kept putting all of this sex and stuff into it," he said, "and I didn't do it the way they wanted. I never had the ability to keep my big mouth shut."
His final role was Zeke in the Western comedy drama for television, Harts Of The West. He then retired from acting to spend more time at his ranch in Yukon, Oklahoma, where he lived until moving to the San Diego area in recent months.
He received 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 survived by his wife and two children.
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