Dale Robertson who starred in the television series Tales of Wells Fargo died last Wednesday at the age of 89 in San Diego, California at the age of 89. He died of complications from lung cancer and pneumonia.
Robertson was born Dayle Lymoine Robertson in Harrah, Oklahoma on July 14, 1923. He served during World War II in a tank crew and in the combat engineers in North Africa and Europe. He sustained an injury in both the North African campaign and in the European theater.
Will Rogers Jr. advised Robertson to avoid formal acting training and to just be himself.
Robertson made his movie debut portraying a policeman in The Boy With Green Hair released in 1948. He only appeared in movies till 1956, when he made his television debut in an episode of Ford Television Theatre. He continued to appear in television and movies till 1957 when he became the star of Tales of Wells Fargo was Jim Hardie on the series. The show ran from 1957-1962 and Robertson appeared in all 200 episodes. The show featured several well-known guest stars including Eddie Albert, Chuck Connors, Buddy Ebsen, Michael Landon, Steve McQueen and Jack Nicholson.
He then starred in Iron Horse which was seen from 1966-1968 and 47 episodes of the series were filmed. He didn’t star in another television series until 1987-1988 when J.J. Starbuck ran for only 16 episodes, in which Robertson played the title role. Jimmy Dean portrayed Charlie Bullets in 15 of the 16 episodes.
His last role was as a guest star in two episodes of Harts of the West, with one episode airing in 1993 and the other in 1994.
I will always remember watching the show when it was on network television. The following list shows 10 westerns among the Top 30 shows for the 1957-1958 season, with Tales of Wells Fargo ranked third behind Gunsmoke and Danny Thomas.