Pernell Roberts: Five Fast Facts

Pernell Roberts

Pernell Roberts is that kind of actor you never want to wish peace even though you want him to rest in peace, but you just can’t seem to bring yourself to terms that he is no more and cannot possibly act from that place dead people go to. He has been gone for nearly a decade now, but he still remains an important figure in the Hollywood round table of actors past. Here are all the things you need to know about the late actor who also served in the US Marine at some point in his life.

1. Pernell Roberts was born an only child

Pernell Roberts was born on May 18, 1928, in Waycross, Georgia as an only child. His father Elven Pernell Roberts Sr worked as a salesman for the carbonated drink (Dr. Pepper) while his mother Minnie (Betty) Myrtle Morgan Roberts was a homemaker.

Pernell was talented and bega by appearing in church and school plays. Aside from his acting skills, Pernell sang in local USO shows. He attended Georgia Institute of Technology but later dropped out from the school to enlist in the United States Marine Corps in 1946.

During his time in the US Marine, Pernell played the tuba and horn he was also skilled at playing the sousaphone and percussion, his fingers were that magical. He later attended the University of Maryland where he appeared in Shakespeare plays Othello’ and ‘Antigone but despite his love for the art, he couldn’t finish school again as he dropped out.

2. He achieved fame on NBC Bonanza

He stared on the NBC series “Bonanza.” Which ran for fourteen seasons 1959-1972. He played the role of Adam Cartwright and this role brought him fame and so many recognitions.

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However, his career started in 1949 when he appeared on stage at the Olney Theater in Olney Maryland for the play “The Man Who Came to Dinner”.  Afterward, he appeared as Dan in Emlyn Williams’s “Night Must Fall”. Pernell Roberts played the role of Alfred Doolittle in GB Shaw’s play “Pygmalion” at the ‘Bryn Mawr College Theatre,’ Philadelphia.

As the story goes with actors about changing location in order to be better at what they do, Pernell Roberts’s first moved to Washington, DC in 1950. For five while at Washington, he performed as a stage artist. Pernell Roberts went on to contribute in some Shakespeare stage plays like “Twelfth Night”, Julius Caesar and Oliver Goldsmith “She Stoops to conquer.

Pernell Roberts was on the move again in 1952 this time to New York City where he started working in ‘Broadway’ and ‘Off-Broadway’ productions. In 1956, Pernell Roberts appeared in an episode of anthology series of the Kraft Television Theater, entitled “Shadow of Suspicion”.

In 1958, Pernell Roberts made his film debut in “Desire Under the Elms” as Peter Cabot. The same year, he portrayed the character of Chocktaw Neal in the film “The Sheepman”. Pernell continued to appear in films and theater plays until he bowed out in the late ‘90s.

3. Pernell Roberts married four times

During his lifetime, Pernell Roberts met quite a number of divorce lawyers as he married four times. He had a new wife for every decade. His first marriage was in 1951 to Vera Mowry, who was a professor of theater history at ‘Washington State University.’ The union produced a son named Jonathan who unfortunately died in a motorcycle crash in 1989, long after Pernell had divorced Vera.

In 1962, Pernell Roberts married Judith Anna LeBrecque. Judith is an actress best known as Mary Shaw in James Wan’s horror film “Dead Silence”. She was also in the Netflix comedy-drama series “Orange Is the New Black”. The union looked like what would have lasted more than a decade but they eventually divorced in 1971. In 1972, Pernell Roberts married Kara Knack and divorced in 1996.

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For his fourth marriage, he went for an author, Dr. Eleanor Criswell. He married Eleanor in 1997 and it was only death that separated them.

4. He left behind a huge net amount

There are people whose bones have mated away in the soil but their children and grandchildren are still making trips to the bank in their name. Pernell Roberts left an estimated wealth of 10 million dollars. How much of this money is left now? We don’t know. We don’t care.

5. Pernell Roberts died of pancreatic cancer

Pernell Roberts died at the age of 81 years at his home in Malibu, California in 2010. His lawyer and good friend Richard A. Stone announced that the cause of the actor’s death was cancer. It’s been close to a decade since he died and fans would remember him.

Image Source: NYTimes

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