Western star Dale Robertson dies at 89


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Television western star Dale Robertson has passed away of pneumonia and lung cancer. The Oklahoma native was 89 when he died in La Jolla, California at the age of 89.

Baby boomers may remember Robertson most from the series Tales of Wells Fargo in which he played an employee of the Wells Fargo Stageline and often traveled the west to handle difficult situations. Western devotees will recall that Robertson used his left hand to draw his pistol in part because it was just a fun gimmick and also because the actor actually was a fast draw, sometimes making it difficult for the camera to capture the action sufficiently.

Tales of Wells Fargo was followed up by another western that had Robertson paving the way for the railroad. The Iron Horse co-starred Gary Collins, who also passed away not long ago. In the late eighties, he returned to TV with J.J. Starbuck in which he played a quirky billionaire who solved crimes. He is also remembered as one of the hosts for Death Valley Days, the others being Ronald Reagan and Robert Taylor.

In 1993, Robertson retired from acting, tired of dealing with shifting morality of Hollywood and preferring to spend time on his ranch in Oklahoma. Prior to this, he received the coveted Golden Boot Award. He was still viewed then as a powerful personality, a confident and outspoken man who fans loved to spend a few minutes with in the hotel lobby.

Robertson was married four times, the last time to his wife, Susan, whom he wed in 1980 and survives him. He had two children.

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