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. 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 "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, 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.
|Susan Dee Robbins||(2 February 1980 - 26 February 2013) (his death)|
|Lula Mae Maxey||(13 November 1959 - 8 February 1977) (divorced)|
|Mary Murphy||(4 June 1956 - 4 September 1957) (annulled)|
|Frederica Jacqueline Wilson||(19 May 1951 - 4 June 1956) (divorced) 1 child|
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.
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 eventually was cast in the Golden Boy (1939) role.
Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1983.
The old-fashioned Robertson claims to have been "killed off" by the powers-that-be on "Dynasty" (1981) because he balked at the sexual situations demanded of his character.
Retired after he finished his role as Zeke in the TV series "Harts of the West" (1993) in order to spend more time at his Yukon, Oklahoma ranch and raise horses. Ill health forced him in recent months to move to the San Diego California area just months before his death of emphysema and pneumonia and he died at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla.
His resemblance to Clark Gable helped him get into the movies.
Wounded twice during WWII while serving in the Army in North Africa and Europe, he was awarded the Bronze and Silver stars and a Purple Heart for his courage.
Was a horse rider by age ten and was training polo ponies in his teens.
Parents: Melvin and Varval Robertson.
Attended Classen High School in Oklahoma City. Into his junior year he was declared "ineligible" to play sports because of two professional boxing matches he had previously fought in. As such, he decided to enroll in the Oklahoma Military Academy in the city of Claremore wherein he could participate in sports. Dale went on to be nominated "All Around Athlete" while attending the Academy.
During his first year of college, he and some of his friends signed up for military duty after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Started military service in Fort Sill in Oklahoma before being sent to the horse cavalry at Fort Riley, Kansas, and then to officers' school at Fort Knox, Kentucky where he was commissioned a Second Lieutuenant in the Armed Forces. From there he was sent to the Engineer School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
He and his first wife had daughter Rochelle.
An actor can change himself to fit a part, whereas a personality has to change the part to fit himself. The personality has to say it his own way.
They got me to do 15 episodes...but that was enough. They kept putting all of this sex and stuff into it and I didn't do it the way they wanted. I never had the ability to keep my big mouth shut. -- DR, on why his character was killed off on the "Dynasty" (1981) series
(October 2008) Now retired and currently living in Oklahoma
|You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.|
|With our Resume service you can add photos and build a complete resume to help you achieve the best possible presentation on the IMDb.|
Click here to add your resume and/or your photos to IMDb.