The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

State, national, world

February 28, 2013

Actor Dale Robertson dies in California hospital

OKLAHOMA CITY — Dale Robertson, an Oklahoma native who became a star of television and movie Westerns during the genre's heyday, died Tuesday. He was 89.

Robertson's niece, Nancy Robertson, said her uncle died at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., following a brief illness.

Dale Robertson had bit parts in films including "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).

Robertson continued to work in TV in the 1970s, and in the 1980s he landed roles in the popular night-time soap operas "Dallas" and "Dynasty."

In 1993, he took what would be his final role, as Zeke in the show "Harts of the West," before retiring from acting to spend more time at his ranch in Yukon, Okla., where he lived until moving to the San Diego area in recent months, Nancy Robertson said.

Dale Robertson would want to be remembered as a father, a grandfather and an Oklahoman, she said.

"He came back a lot when he was in Hollywood, and he came back (to Oklahoma) after retiring," she said.

"I remember him as a larger-than-life fellow," she 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.

Born Dayle Lymoine Robertson to Melvin and Vervel Robertson in Harrah, on July 14, 1923, Robertson attended Oklahoma Military College at 17 and boxed in professional prize fights to earn money.

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