What Was ‘Bonanza’ Icon Lorne Greene’s Final Acting Role?

by Quentin Blount
Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

This one goes out to all of the loyal Bonanza fans out there. Do you know what the final acting role was for Lorne Greene? The answer may surprise you.

It probably goes without saying, but Bonanza star Lorne Greene has one of the most iconic faces in the history of classic television. He became a well-known figure in not only television but also as a radio personality and as a singer. But we think most people would agree that when you first hear the name Lorne Greene, you probably think of his character Ben Cartwright in the Western television series, Bonanza.

And while we all know that Greene will be remembered for starring in the classic show, he had plenty of other notable roles in film and television as well. One of his most popular characters aside from Cartwright was Commander Adama in Battlestar Galactica and Galactica 1980. He was one of the most popular actors in the entire country during his prime. So, he could have likely had success in just about any movie show he chose to be a part of.

But what exactly was Greene’s very last acting role that he played in his illustrious career? If you’ve made it this far, then congrats — the answer is The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory in 1987. Lorne Greene played General Sam Houston. However, that particular movie featured plenty of other notable stars. Some of those include James Arness, Brian Keith, Alex Baldwin, Raul Julia, David Ogden Stiers, and Jon Linstrom.

What Was the Real Name of ‘Bonanza’ Star Lorne Greene?

It is certainly a fair question to ask yourself. After all, not too many people out there know what the classic TV star’s real name is.

Lorne Greene was born in Canada on February 12, 1915. And you may be surprised that his name given to him at birth was Lyon Chaim Green, according to IMDb. He quickly became a rising star in his home country thanks to his time as a radio newscaster.

However, the Bonanza star liked to go to New York City whenever he had some spare time. The man who so quickly got the nickname “The Voice of Canada,” ended up going to The Big Apple for good after his time as a radio broadcaster was cut short. But things didn’t go quite as planned there as well. As a result, Lorne Greene made his way across the entire United States to Hollywood.

That’s precisely where he was cast to play the character of Ben Cartwright in Bonanza. And he played that role better than anyone could have hoped. Bonanza went on to dominate television ratings despite there being some other great Westerns on at the time as well.