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Dayle Lymoine "Dale" Robertson
Jul 14, 1923 - Feb 27, 2013
Posted by Jo Aguirre

Dale Robertson was born Jul. 14, 1923 to Melvin and Vervel Robertson in Harrah, Oklahoma. He died February 26, 2013 in La Jolla, Calif., following a long illness at the age of 89.
 
According to Robertson's niece, Nancy Love Robertson, of Oklahoma City, her uncle's health had been failing for about two years. She said Robertson and his wife, Susan, had moved to the San Diego area a few months ago, after many years of living and raising horses on their Farm north of Yukon. She said her uncle was diagnosed with cancer only last week. He died Tuesday.

 He was educated at Oklahoma Military College in Claremore, where he was named All-Around Outstanding Athlete. He was a professional boxer there.  During this time he was offered the lead in a film version of Golden Boy through Columbia Pictures, but he turned down the screen test as he did not want to leave home nor the ponies he was training.   

Robertson entered the Army in 1942 and was commissioned through Officer Candidate School. He served as a tank commander in the 777th Tank Battalion in North Africa, where he was wounded by enemy fire. After recovering, he served with the 322nd Combat Engineer Battalion during the European campaign, where he was wounded again. He was awarded the Bronze and Silver Star Medals, the Purple Heart and the Cross of Lorraine from France by the time he was discharged in 1946. He was "discovered" by Hollywood producers while he was stationed in California.

He began his acting career by chance when he was in the U S Army. While stationed at San Luis Obispo, Dale decided to have a photo taken for his mother; so he and several others went to Hollywood to find a photographer. A large copy of his photo was later displayed in the photographer's shop window. He found himself receiving letters from film agents who wished to represent him. After the war, war wounds prevented him from resuming his boxing career. He stayed in California to try his hand at acting. Hollywood actor and fellow Oklahoman,  gave him this advice: "Don't ever take a dramatic lesson."  He never took formal acting lessons. 

His career started with bit roles in 1948 in "Johnny Belinda" and "The Boy With Green Hair" and grew into films such as "Two Flags West" with Joseph Cotton and "O. Henry's Full House" with Richard Widmark and Marilyn Monroe. His small screen credits include the starring role in "The Iron Horse" (1966-68), host and occasional star of "Death Valley Days" (1968-72), a recurring guest-shot on "Dynasty" in the early 1980s, and star of the short-lived "J. J. Starbuck" in the late '80s.

He appeared in 63 feature films and several television series during his career , but he was best-known for portraying special agent Jim Hardie, TV's fastest left-handed gun, on NBC's highly rated Western series "Tales of Wells Fargo," which ran from March 1957 to September 1961. Because of his many roles in Western films and TV productions, he was  inducted into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Hall of Great Western Performers in 1983.  Per Museum President, Chuck Schroeder, "Dale obviously had a wonderful career in film and was a very popular Western actor. But beyond that, when you get to know some of Dale's friends, you start to understand what an influence Dale was on others. He was a guy who was very generous in helping other people get started in the movie business. He was generous to people who were down on their luck. He was a guy who really cared about his fellow man, and not only cared about them but invested himself in helping other people. We always think that part of the Code of the West is being a gentleman and looking after our neighbors, and Dale was one who certainly lived that value every day of his life," Schroeder said.

El Camino Memorial Encinitas mortuary in Encinitas, Calif., is handling arrangements. Robertson's niece said memorial services are pending in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. Donations may be made to the Central Oklahoma Salvation Army.

Robertson is survived by his wife, Susan; his daughters, Rochelle Robertson, of Los Angeles, and Rebel Lea Robertson, of Dallas; and one granddaughter, Jade Robertson.

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