The Way of the Word

26. January 2010

RIP Pernell Roberts

Filed under: RIP,TV — jensaltmann @ 09:37
Tags: , , ,

Pernell Roberts died on January 24 at the age of 81. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer.

Roberts was best known for playing the part of Adam Cartwright on Bonanza, and a few years later as the title character on the TV series Trapper John MD. If you’ve read this blog, you know that I was an avid Bonanza watcher during my formative years. While those two roles were the ones for which he is best remembered, he has guest-starred in a great many TV shows, and done a lot of stage acting.

There is a certain irony in the fact that Pernell Roberts was the first of the Cartwrights to leave the show, but he’s the last of them to die.

Beyond his acting, Roberts was also a civil rights activist who, among other things, participated in the Selma to Montgomery marches.

He was a very good actor and by all accounts an idealistic man of strong beliefs and the courage to act on them.

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1 Comment »

  1. It’s somewhat amusing: Pernell Roberts’ death was reported by every newspaper I saw yesterday. Clearly, he was very much loved by millions of Bonanza fans.

    Because every obituary mentioned that “Adam Cartwright” is dead, along with a picture of Mr. Roberts from his days on Bonanza.

    From what little I know of Mr. Roberts, he would have hated that.

    Comment by jensaltmann — 28. January 2010 @ 11:13


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