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Lorne Greene

Lorne Greene
Lorne Greene - 1969.jpg
Greene in 1969
Born Lyon Himan Green
(1915-02-12)February 12, 1915
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Died September 11, 1987(1987-09-11) (aged 72)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Cause of death Pneumonia
Other names Chaim Green
Lorne Hyman Greene
Occupation Actor and musician/singer
Years active 1939–1987
Spouse(s)
  • Rita Hands (1938–1960; divorced)
  • Nancy Deale (1961–1987; his death)
Children 3

Lorne Hyman Greene,OC (born Lyon Himan Green; February 12, 1915 – September 11, 1987) was a Canadian actor, radio personality, and singer.

His television roles include Ben Cartwright on the western Bonanza, and Commander Adama in the science fiction television series Battlestar Galactica and Galactica 1980. He also worked on the Canadian television nature documentary series Lorne Greene's New Wilderness, and in television commercials.

Greene was born Lyon Himan Green in Ottawa, Ontario, to Russian Jewish immigrants, Dora (née Grinovsky) and Daniel Green, a shoemaker. He was called "Chaim" by his mother, and his name is shown as "Hyman" on his school report cards. In his biography, the author, his daughter Linda Greene Bennett, stated that it was not known when he began using "Lorne", nor when he added an "e" to Green. Greene was the drama instructor at Camp Arowhon, a summer camp in Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, where he developed his talents.

Greene began acting while attending Queen's University in Kingston, where he acquired a knack for broadcasting with the Radio Workshop of the university's Drama Guild on the campus radio station CFRC. He gave up on a career in chemical engineering and, upon graduation, found a job as a radio broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). During World War II Green served as a Flying officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was assigned as the principal newsreader on the CBC National News. The CBC gave him the nickname "The Voice of Canada"; however, his role in delivering distressing war news in sonorous tones with his deep, resonant voice following Canada's entry into World War II in 1939 caused many listeners to call him "The Voice of Doom", particularly since he was delegated the assignment of reading the dreaded list of soldiers killed in the war. During his radio days, Greene invented a stopwatch that ran backwards; this helped radio announcers gauge how much time was left, while speaking.


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