Pernell Elven Roberts, Jr. (born 18 May 1928) was a renowned American stage actor, television personality, and musician. He was best known for his role as ‘Bonanza‘ in the western television series of the same name. Adam Cartwright, the character he played on the show, was Ben Cartwright‘s son, and he played him well.
He was an equally accomplished actor on stage and had been in some feature films as well.
He also made headlines due to his activism, such as his participation in the 1965 “Selma to Montgomery marches,” during which marchers asked that “NBC” stop portraying white actors in the roles of African-American and Latino minorities.
Pernell Roberts had a long and illustrious career as an artist. He passed away at the age of 81 due to pancreatic cancer.
Pernell Roberts Biography
|Wiki Facts & About Data|
|Full Name:||Pernell Elven Roberts, Jr.|
|Stage Name:||Pernell Roberts|
|Born:||18 May 1928 (age 81 years old)|
|Place of Birth:||Waycross, Georgia, United States|
|Died:||24 January 2010, Malibu, California, United States|
|Parents:||Pernell Elven Roberts Sr., Minnie Myrtle Morgan Roberts|
|Wife • Spouse:||Eleanor Criswell (m. 1997–2010), Kara Knack (m. 1972–1996), Judith Roberts (m. 1962–1971), Vera Mowry Roberts (m. 1951–1959)|
|Girlfriend • Partner:||N/A|
|Children:||Jonathan Christopher Roberts|
|Occupation:||Actor • Musician|
|Net Worth:||US$10 million|
Pernell Roberts was the only child of Minnie Myrtle Morgan Roberts and Pernell Elven Roberts, Sr., and the youngest of their four children. He was born on May 18, 1928, in the city of Waycross, Georgia, in the United States.
The father of the American actor worked as a ‘Dr. Pepper’s salesperson. Pernell Roberts discovered his love for performing during his high school years when he participated in school and church productions of plays.
While attending college, he realized his musical abilities and pursued them. He performed in local ‘USO shows‘ and learned to play the trumpet as a result. The ‘Georgia Institute of Technology,’ often known as ‘Georgia Tech‘, was where he went to school, but he did not complete his studies there.
Afterward, he served for two years in the United States Marine Corps and then in the Army from 1946 to 1948.
Even while serving his country, he maintained a solid connection to his artistic side of himself. Pernell Roberts was a member of the ‘Marine Corps Band‘, where he played the trumpet and the tuba.
Pernell Roberts also possessed a thorough understanding of the sousaphone and other percussion instruments at the period.
In 1951, Pernell Roberts tied the knot with Vera Mowry, who was working as a professor of theater history at Washington State University at the time. A few years later, their marriage came to an end.
Their only son, Jonathan Christopher Roberts, was born to them in 1989 but tragically died in a motorbike accident.
Pernell Roberts tied the knot with Judith Anna Roberts in 1962. The couple was married for over a decade before it ended in 1971.
He married Kara Knack the following year; however, the marriage ended in 1996.
During his final years, Pernell Roberts married Dr. Eleanor Criswell, with whom he remained married till the end of his life. On January 24, 2010, he passed away from pancreatic cancer in Malibu, California, United States.
Pernell Roberts‘ first exposure to classical theater was during his undergraduate years at the University of Maryland, albeit he did not complete his studies there.
Nonetheless, his time there moved him closer to realizing his dream of being an actor. During his time as a student, he appeared in four performances, two of which were ‘Othello‘ and ‘Antigone.’
Career And Filmography
Pernell Roberts had his acting debut in the play, The Man Who Came to Dinner, which he then went on to star in 1949. Afterward, he became a member of the Arena Stage Theater while working as a substitute teacher and doing other odd jobs.
It wasn’t until several years later, after starring in Desire Under the Elms (1958), that he was cast as a sheepherder alongside Shirley MacLaine in The Sheepman (1959). The Silent Gun, Ride Lonesome, and The Errand Boy were among the actor’s later film roles in the 1960s.
The Bonanza, a Western TV series that ran for more than a decade, was one of the most crucial shows in Pernell Roberts‘ career.
‘Macbeth’ Off-Broadway production in 1955 earned Pernell Roberts the ‘Drama Desk Award’ for best actor for his performance as Banquo in the play.
As a result of his work in the television series, Trapper John, M.D, he was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1981 in the category of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
Pernell Roberts is believed to have an estimated net worth of US$10 million. He made this fortune through acting before his demise.