After Bonanza ended, Lorne Greene became interested in science fiction
Fans were used to seeing Greene in the Ponderosa, but science fiction helped him travel to outer space.
Lorne Greene portrayed Ben Cartwright on Bonanza for 14 seasons. That's over a decade of wearing vintage clothing that reflected living in the West and using terminology that was outdated at the time.
Greene was able to focus on a few different things during the series run, like music. However, many of his albums were Western-inspired, and it seemed like he couldn't detach himself from the genre.
That is until the show ended, and he had to put his focus elsewhere. Five years after Bonanza said goodbye to its dedicated fans, Greene appeared in another series, Battlestar Galactica. This time instead of living in the West, outer space was his home.
Starring in the Sci-Fi action-adventure show made Greene very interested in science fiction. He was so interested that he indulged in the genre often.
A Chicago Tribune article from 1978 stated, "Greene said he read about 30 science fiction books to get a mindset on this thing called outer space." The actor played Commander Adama, his planet's president, a military and spiritual leader who gathers human survivors aboard a giant warship-spaceship during the destruction of their planet by evil forces.
Greene also watched about two dozen science fiction films, including Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Blob, The Thing, 2001, and It Came From Outer Space.
"I'm so engrossed in science fiction stuff that I've become starstruck," he told the Chicago Tribune in 1978. He was already interested in making Earth a better place, but his new love for outer space strengthened that connection even more.
Greene even had a message for those who loved outer space and science fiction as much as he did. "While everyone has this great fascination for outer space, let's not lose sight of our own planet."
It's safe to say that the actor was born to lead, helping out others and being the leader in the Ponderosa and space.
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It's a very fond memory, particularly a funny story (which i won't repeat here) he told about a bit of cheeky irreverence he directed at David Sarnoff, the founder and chairman of NBC during Greene's time doing "Bonanza," at a network party they both attended.
This reminds me of William Shatner's SF interests.