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Greene, Lorne

Journalist, actor
1915-1987
Greene, Lorne - City of Regina

Lorne Greene on stage at old City Hall site – Jubilee Day, June 12 th , 1965. CORA-B-527.

The City of Regina invited television star Lorne Greene as a guest of honour to the Regina’s celebration of the Diamond Jubilee (60th birthday) on Jubilee Day, June 12, 1965. Greene spoke to the crowds at old City Hall. In this photograph, Lorne Greene is at the podium addressing a large crowd. Sitting on the dais behind Greene, under the last “E” in the “JUBILEE” banner, is Mayor Henry Baker, Regina 's longest-serving mayor.

Lorne Greene was born in Ottawa in 1915. He attended Queens University , studying chemical engineering, but the theatre was his first love and he abandoned his studies in favour of the stage.

His dreams of theatrical success took him to New York City where he directed and acted in many works. By 1939 he returned to Canada where he was hired by the CBC. His trademark deep voice gained him recognition as “The Voice of Canada” – unfortunately, once Canada entered World War II Greene was also known as “The Voice of Doom” because his newscasts so frequently included bad news about the war.

Greene joined the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, where he served as a flying officer. After the war ended, he returned to Toronto, where he founded the Academy of Radio Arts and developed a stopwatch that ran backwards to help radio announcers to gauge the time remaining in a broadcast.

While promoting this gadget in the United States, Greene ran into producer Fletcher Markle. Markle cast Greene as “Big Brother” in a live television production of George Orwell's “1984”. That job changed Greene's life forever. He soon earned more television jobs and made his motion picture debut as the Apostle Peter in “The Silver Chalice”.

In 1959 Greene appeared in an episode of “Wagon Train”. This appearance led directly to his role as “Ben Cartwright” on the television show “Bonanza”. By 1965, when this photograph was taken, “Bonanza” was 6 years into its phenomenal 14-year run on television and Lorne Greene was a major television star.

After the 1973 cancellation of “Bonanza”, Greene played a detective in the short-lived television show “Griff” and became a cult television favourite with his role as Commander Adama on “Battlestar Galactica”. His most successful television role after “Bonanza” was as the host and narrator of “Lorne Greene's New Wilderness”, a syndicated nature series, but many people might also remember Lorne Greene from a series of commercials he did for Alpo dog food in the 1970s and 1980s.

Greene passed away in 1987.