Dale Robertson –
Dale Robertson in The Silver Whip (1952). Above
Today we heard the sad news that Dale Robertson had passed away.
Despite making some excellent 50s Westerns, such as The Gambler From Natchez (1954) and A Day Of Fury (1956), it was on TV that he really made his mark — as Jim Hardie in Tales Of Wells Fargo.
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, he had a photograph taken for his mother. A copy of the photo displayed in the photo shop window attracted movie scouts, and he was soon on his way – the short journey to Hollywood. He became typecast in Western movies and TV shows when the genre was still America’s favourite. He was best known here in England for “Tales of Wells Fargo” (1957), in which he played the roving trouble-shooter Jim Hardie.
The handsome, square-jawed actor, who was often said to resemble Clark Gable, was an able horse rider by age 10 and was training polo ponies in his teens. He applied those skills in Hollywood, where he appeared in more than 60 movies, including a prime role as Jesse James in 1949′s “Fighting Man of the Plains.” His leading ladies included such glamour icons as Betty Grable and Mitzi Gaynor.
He seemed to have a very likable screen presence and by all accounts was a really nice man.
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 retired to a ranch near Oklahoma City.