Actor Dale Robertson has died at the age of 89 in a California hospital. Robertson, an Oklahoma native, passed away at Scripps Memorial Hospital after a brief illness.
Robertson started his acting career with bit parts in films before moving on to play more high-profile roles, like Jesse James in Fighting Man of the Plains.
His final role was Zeke in the show Harts of the West in 1993, reports The Associated Press. Nancy Robertson, Dale’s niece, stated of the actor:
“I remember him as a larger-than-life fellow. When he was in town it was always very exciting. It always meant something magical was going to happen.”
Dale Robertson was born Dayle Lymoine Robertson on July 14, 1923. He joined the US Army and fought in North Africa and Europe during World War II. He earned the Bronze and Silver Stars, as well as the Purple Heart, for his service.
Soon after he left the Army, a photo he had taken for his mother attracted movie scouts, sending the Oklahoman on his way to Hollywood, according to ABC News.
Robertson moved into television acting in the 1950s taking roles in Tales of Wells Fargo, Iron Horse, and Death Valley Days. He honored a suggestion once made by Will Rogers Jr., son of another Oklahoma-born actor and writer, Will Rogers.
Will Rogers Jr. once told him to avoid formal training, in order to keep his own persona. And Robertson did. He earned the Golden Boot Award in 1985 and was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers, as well as the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.
Dale Robertson was married several times, most recently to Susan Robbins. He married Robbins in 1980 and is survived by her, along with two children.
Robertson is expected to be cremated and a memorial service will be held in a few weeks.