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Actor Lorne Greene enjoyed a brief recording career in the mid-'60s, when he was at the height of his popularity thanks to his role as Ben Cartwright on the long-running Western series Bonanza. Greene was born in 1915 in Ottawa, Ontario, and went to college to study chemical engineering. He wound up discovering theater instead, and opted for a career in the performing arts. He worked in radio for a time, working his way up to become Canada's best-known newscaster. He left for New York in 1950, and soon appeared in Broadway productions and several films. He won the role of Ben Cartwright in 1959, playing the Ponderosa Ranch's patriarch until Bonanza finally went off the air in 1973. In the meantime, NBC, hoping to capitalize on the series' popularity, brought several cast members into the recording studio. Greene released his first album in 1963, and the following year he scored a surprise number one smash with "Ringo," a Western story song he narrated rather than sang. Greene charted a couple more times with 1965's "The Man" and 1966's "Waco," and released a total of five albums on RCA Victor from 1963-1966. Afterwards, he returned to acting full-time, most notably appearing in the TV miniseries Roots and starring in the sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica, as well as narrating numerous documentaries. Just before he was scheduled to reprise his Bonanza role for a TV-movie reunion, Greene died of complications from surgery on September 11, 1987. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi