TV Westerns actor Dale Robertson dies at 89

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Dale Robertson, an Oklahoma native who became a star of television and movie Westerns during the genre's heyday, died Tuesday. He was 89.

Robertson's niece, Nancy Robertson, said her uncle died after a brief illness.

Dale Robertson had bit parts in films including "The Boy With Green Hair" and the Joan Crawford vehicle "Flamingo Road" before landing more high-profile roles such as Jesse James in "Fighting Man of the Plains."

In the 1950s, he moved into television, starring in series such as "Tales of Wells Fargo" (1957-62), "Iron Horse" (1966) and "Death Valley Days" (1968-70).

Robertson continued to work in TV in the 1970s, and in the 1980s he landed roles in the popular nighttime soap operas "Dallas" and "Dynasty." In 1993, he took what would be his final role, as Zeke in the show "Harts of the West," before retiring from acting.

Robertson, attended Oklahoma Military College at 17 and boxed in professional prize fights to earn money. He joined the Army and fought in North Africa and Europe during World War II. Robertson was wounded twice and awarded the Bronze and Silver stars and the Purple Heart.

While stationed at San Luis Obispo, Calif., he had a photograph taken for his mother. A copy of the photo displayed in the photo shop window attracted movie scouts, and Robertson soon was Hollywood-bound.

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