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.
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