Lorne Greene was persuaded out of retirement for Battlestar Galactica
Giddy up to the stars!
Astronauts are pioneers of the cosmic plane, right? They're the cattle hands of the stars, if you will. So, it only makes sense that one of the great actors of TV Westerns traded in his ten-gallon hat for a spacesuit.
After 14 years as patriarch of the Ponderosa, Lorne Greene wasn't done being the leader of a television series. So, with Bonanza settling into life in reruns, the former Ben Cartwright suddenly had a lot more time on his hands than he'd had in decades.
"It took a lot of persuading to get me to come out of semi-retirement," Greene told The Evening Chronicle in '78. At the time, he was living in a Bel Air mansion with his wife, Nancy, and their 10-year-old daughter.
"Playing Ben Cartwright in Bonanza earned me enough money to take things easy, but I'm not the sort who can do nothing. It's good to be in a big series again, and Battlestar has taken off like the proverbial rocket!"
While outer space might seem like a far cry from the Wild West, Greene saw a commonality in both roles.
"They describe me as a sort of cowboy boss in space," said Greene. It makes sense, then, that he was a great fit for this new series.
"It certainly seems as though we have a smash hit," said Greene. "But I remain cautious. In this business, absolutely anything can happen."
High production costs and low ratings led to Battlestar Galactica's cancellation after 24 episodes. Not everything can last a record-shattering 14 seasons like Bonanza did.