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500 Attend Services for Lorne Greene

September 15, 1987|From United Press International

About 500 family members, friends and admirers Monday attended funeral services in Culver City for actor Lorne Greene, best known for his portrayal of the benevolent father-figure Ben Cartwright in the long-running television series "Bonanza."

Michael Landon and Pernell Roberts, who played two of Cartwright's three sons on "Bonanza"--Little Joe and Adam--were among the mourners who attended a memorial at a chapel in Hillside Memorial Park and a graveside service later.

Dan Blocker, who played the third son, Hoss, died in 1974.

The crowd filled the chapel, which seats 300, and the remaining 200 people listened to the 75-minute service over speakers set up outside, a spokesman for Hillside Memorial Park said.

Greene, who spent most of the last three decades on "Bonanza" and subsequent network TV programs, died Friday at the age of 72 in a Santa Monica hospital. He died of respiratory problems after surgery for a bleeding ulcer last month.

Greene, a barrel-chested, Canadian-born former newscaster, was virtually unknown to the American public when "Bonanza" premiered in 1959. When the show ended 14 seasons later, only to go into rerun syndication, Greene was entrenched in the public consciousness as a symbol of firm but gentle fatherhood.

Despite his personal popularity, Greene never again enjoyed the same level of success in subsequent roles as a detective in "Griff," from 1973 to 1974, and as Commander Adama in the outer-space adventure series "Battlestar Galactica," in 1978-79.

He also hosted the wildlife-documentary series "Lorne Greene's Last of the Wild," authored "Lorne Greene's Book of Remarkable Animals," and was a chairman of the National Wildlife Foundation.

Greene is survived by his wife, Nancy Anne; their daughter, Gillian; two children from a previous marriage, Charles and Linda, and grandchildren Stacy and Danielle.

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