Lorne Greene gave up a career in newscasting to become an actor
Greene was known as "The voice of Canada."
Audiences were always destined to love Lorne Greene, but apparently, how viewers enjoyed him was never guaranteed.
According to an article in the Intelligencer Journal, Greene originally began his career as a newscaster. While acting wasn't Greene's major during his time in university, he was still involved in drama in his extracurriculars and free time. However, when he went to find work as an actor later on, he was shocked to discover that there weren't many roles available, certainly not enough to sustain a career. This meant that Greene would have to pivot his career path toward something that was more feasible.
In an interview with the Danville Register and Bee, Greene stated, "The only way to make a living was in radio." He continued, "I 'sold' myself as a 'program supervisor' to a now-defunct advertising agency and started at $10 a week." Greene was later able to get a job as a radio announcer, where he gained fame.
Through all of this, Greene hadn't forgotten his love of acting, but it wasn't at the forefront of his career. It was apparently during a trip to New York that this changed when he was offered an acting opportunity for Studio One. Afterward, Greene decided to focus more on his acting career and later landed a guest spot on Wagon Train that caught the attention of NBC producers who were looking for potential actors to star in Bonanza.
While Greene is unforgettable as Ben Cartwright in Bonanza, his newscast career also holds great merit, as does his impact on the field. Greene stated, "After the war, I founded the Academy of Radio Arts in Canada as a training ground for radio personnel." He continued, "Of the 400 graduates, 98 percent are in the business today, all over the world, and in all capacities." So, it turns out that even before Lorne Greene was raising the Cartwright boys on Bonanza, he had his hands full helping to raise the radio personnel of tomorrow.