Dale Robertson, the actor who scored cowboy roles in the 1950s and 1960s, died Tuesday, February 26 in San Diego, Southern California, CNN reports. The soldier-turned-TV cowboy passed away due to complications of lung cancer and pneumonia.
Dale struggled with health problems in the past few years partly due to the wounds he suffered while serving in a tank crew in North Africa and Europe during World War II, his wife Susan said. The skilled rider was taken to hospital last week after complaining of pain.
The actor who grew in a house ranch in Oklahoma was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer while being treated for pneumonia at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla. Tests revealed his lung cancer had spread to his brain, bones, liver and lymph nodes.
Born Dayle Lymoine Robertson in 1923, Dale was known for his role as special agent Jim Hardie in the TV Western series "Tales of Wells Fargo" from 1957 to 1962, riding a horse named Jubilee. His last role was in 1993 when he appeared in two episodes of TV series "Harts of the West".
Despite his many roles on the screen, Dale refused to call himself an actor. "An actor can change himself to fit a part, whereas a personality has to change the part to fit himself," he reasoned in a 1988 interview. "The personality has to say it his own way."
Dale received Golden Boot Awards in 1985 and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1983.
During the last hours of his life, his wife comforted Dale whispering thoughts of what awaited him in the afterlife. "I told him that Jubilee and Chief (his favorite dog) would be waiting to greet him," his wife told CNN.