Tuesday, 26 January 2010


[15.00 - French Time] Pernell Roberts, one of the most recognizable faces of US television during more than 40 years, died sunday in his Malibu home. He was 81.

Roberts had his big break in 1959 with the role of Adam Cartwright in the western saga Bonanza (1959-1973) but left the show in 1965, displeased with the scripts and the evolution of his character. Free to return to things more satisfying for him, like stage, he maintained a strong presence on the small screen as a guest actor in episodes of many hits of the glory days of American network television: Mission: Impossible, Gunsmoke, The Wild Wild West, Hawaii Five-O, etc. Even Bonanza's copycat and rival The Big Valley.

He had to wait until 1979 to be again in a hit show as a star, with Trapper John, M.D. (1979-1986), where he was Dr. John Francis Xavier 'Trapper' McIntyre - previously played by Wayne Rogers in M*A*S*H (1972-1983).

Pernell Roberts participated to one of the most fascinating and elegant experiences in the History of US TV: in 1997 he reprised the role of George Fallon, one of the characters of a 1973 Mannix episode called Little girl lost for an episode of Diagnosis Murder called Hard-Boiled Murder, written by William Rabkin and Lee Goldberg. The DM episode, was a direct sequel to the Mannix show (including excerpts), with Mike Connnors back as P.I. Joe Mannix and Beverly Garland and Julie Adams reprising their roles too.

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