Dale Robertson: Actor best known for his roles in Westerns

 

Dale Robertson, who has died the age of 89, was a star of television and film Westerns during the genre's heyday. With his quietly spoken, modest persona, he had bit parts in films such as The Boy with the Green Hair and the Joan Crawford vehicle Flamingo Road before landing more high-profile roles such as Jesse James in Fighting Man of the Plains.

In the 1950s he moved into television, starring in series such as Tales of Wells Fargo (1957-62), Iron Horse (1966) and Death Valley Days (1968-70). He continued to work in TV in the 1970s, and in the 1980s he landed roles in Dallas and Dynasty. In 1993, he took what would be his final role, as Zeke in the show Harts of the West, before retiring to spend more time at his ranch in Yukon, Oklahoma.

"I remember him as a larger-than-life fellow," his niece Nancy Robertson said. "When he was in town it was always very exciting. It always meant something magical was going to happen," such as another actor or performing artist accompanying him on his visits. "He came back a lot when he was in Hollywood, and he came back [to Oklahoma] after retiring," she said.

Born in 1923, Robertson attended Oklahoma Military College at 17 and boxed in professional prize fights. 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 picture displayed in the photographic shop window attracted film scouts, and the well-built six-footer was on his way to Hollywood.

Will Rogers Jr, the son of another Oklahoma-born actor, Will Rogers, told Robertson to avoid formal training and keep his own persona, saying, "Don't ever take a dramatic lesson. They will try to put your voice in a dinner jacket, and people like their hominy and grits in everyday clothes." It was advice that stood him in good stead, and he never took an acting lesson his life.

Robertson 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 was married several times, most recently in 1980 to Susan Robbins, who survives him along with two children.

Eric Law

Dayle Lymoine Robertson, actor: born Harrah, Oklahoma 14 July 1923; married; died La Jolla, California 27 February 2013.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Administrator - Chinese Speaking

£17000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly growing company is...

Recruitment Genius: Start a Career as a Financial Markets Trader

£40000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Become a professional Trader a...

Recruitment Genius: Software Implementation Consultant

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...

Recruitment Genius: Service Desk Co-ordinator / Client Services Administrator

£22000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful applicant will s...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks