WESTERN LEGEND DALE ROBERTSON DEAD
Movie & TV legend of the west DALE ROBERTSON saddles up for last round-up at age 89.
Robertson appeared in over 60 movies and 430 TV eps toplining such TV oaters “Tales of Wells Fargo” (1957-1961), “Iron Horse” (1966-968) and hosting the anthology series “Death Valley Days” (1968-1973) following such hombres as Ronald Reagan and Robert Taylor.
The future star was born Dayle Lymoine Robertson in Harrah, Okla., on July 14, 1923, to Melvin and Varval Robertson. During World War II, he served in the Army in both the Africa and Europe campaigns.
As a tank commander in the 777th Tank Battalion in the North African campaign, Dale was standing in the hatch when his tank was hit by enemy fire. His crew was killed, but he was blown out of the hatch and survived with shrapnel wounds to his lower legs. Fully recovered, he went on to serve with the 322nd Combat Engineer Battalion during the long European campaign. He was wounded a second time -- earning the Bronze and Silver stars.
After a small uncredited part on the anti-war drama “The Boy With Green Hair” (1948), Dale stirred the tumbleweeds in his first major role playing Jesse James in “Fighting Man of the Plains” (1949).
In 1955 the Dale hit the Bagdad sands as “Son of Sinbad” (1955) teamed with erstwhile villain Vincent Price.
Dale reckoned in an interview that nearly 70 percent of his flicks were westerns, claiming he performed his own stunts.
In 1957 he moved over to the fledgling media of TV. He created, owned and starred in the “Wells Fargo” series, playing stagecoach troubleshooter Jim Hardie. Dale played Hardie with a distinct shootin’ style -- he was a righty who drew and fired with his left hand.
He then starred in the railroad series “Iron Horse” before tackling hosting duties on “Death Valley Days.”
In 1981 he joined the Aaron Spelling prime time soap “Dynasty” in its first go-round playing an oil wildcatter.
The next season he rode over to the “Dallas” stable and gave J.R. Ewing a hard time.
By the end of the decade he starred in his own series again – the short-lived “J.J. Starbuck”.
Among his guest shots on TV hits like "The Love Boat" eps Dale warbled on "Hee Haw" and "The Johnny Cash Show".
His last TV appearance was as “Zeke” on the series “Harts of the West” in 1994.
Robertson refused to call himself an actor, saying he was a personality with a distinctive style – not unlike his personal fave, The Duke -- John Wayne.
“An actor can change himself to fit a part, whereas a personality has to change the part to fit himself,” Dale ‘fessed up in an interview.