Hundreds Gather To Pay Final Respects To Lorne Greene
CULVER CITY, Calif. (AP) _ Actor Lorne Greene was buried Monday, surrounded by the families he headed at home, on television and in business.
″He was a man who took care of his family. He was a man who always had a story or a joke to tell to ease the pain,″ Rabbi Steve Jacobs told the 350 mourners who gathered at Hillside Memorial Park here.
Greene, 72, died Friday at Saint John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, where he had undergone abdominal surgery last month to repair a perforated ulcer and later developed pneumonia.
Monday’s 40-minute memorial service was attended by Greene’s wife, three children and two granddaughters, said the actor’s personal manager, Charlotte Dial.
Others attending the service were Greene’s television family from ″Bonanza,″ which was seen by an estimated 400 million people in 80 countries during its 14-year tenure between 1959 and 1973.
Greene, a Canadian native, was a little-known actor and former newscaster when he was cast for the part of the widowed father left to raise three strapping sons on the ficticious Ponderosa Ranch.
Two of those television sons, Michael Landon and Pernell Roberts, were at the service, while the late Dan Blocker was represented by his widow and son, Ms. Dial said. Blocker died in 1972.
″Lorne knew better than anyone else that life is a succession of seasons,″ Jacobs said. ″He was a model to help us transcend life’s difficulties.″
At the request of Greene’s wife, there were no eulogies at the service, which preceded a private interment, but Jacobs had asked each member of Greene’s family before the service to reflect on their relationships with the actor and read those thoughts to the audience, Ms. Dial said.
″Lorne Greene was loved by all who knew him. He was so giving and never asked for anything in return, except for love,″ wrote the actor’s daughter, Gillian Greene.
During the last several years, Greene was featured on television commercials for the dog food Alpo and ran his own successful film production companies.
″It was so warm and so great to see so many of Lorne’s business associates. Everyone from Alpo was there. So many of the cast and crew were there - people whose names I hadn’t heard in years were there,″ Ms. Dial said.
Others who gathered for the service were actors Leslie Nielsen, Michael Dante, Gene Barry and Peter Mark Richmond, as well as entertainer Monte Hall.
Nielsen, a fellow Canadian, remembered Greene as a ″lovely man″ and a ″wonderful friend.″
Ms. Dial said arrangements were being made for a memorial service in Toronto.