Pernell Elvin Roberts (May 18, 1928 – January 24, 2010) was an American television actor and singer. He was best known for his roles as Ben Cartwright’s eldest son, Adam Cartwright, on the western series Bonanza (a role he played from 1959 to 1965), and as chief surgeon, Dr. John MacIntyre, the title character on Trapper John, M.D. (1979-1986).
Born: Pernell Elvin Roberts Waycross, Georgia, U.S.
Died: Malibu, California, U.S.
He came to prominence playing Ben Cartwright’s urbane eldest son, Adam, in the Western television series Bonanza. Despite the show’s success, he left after the sixth season in 1965 due to disagreements with the writers and a desire to return to legitimate theatre.
He was known for his activism, which included participation in the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965, and pressuring NBC to refrain from hiring whites to portray minority characters.
Death of Pernel Roberts
Roberts died of cancer at his home in Malibu, California on January 24, 2010, aged 81