Canadian History for Kids!
Sketches of Canada for September 11th!
He was known as both the “The Voice of Canada” and the “The Voice of Doom”.
Canadian acting legend Lorne Greene passed away, September 11th, 1987. This Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of Canada, looks at the career of Lorne Greene.
Lyon Himan Green was born in Ottawa, Ontario, February 1915 to Russian Jewish immigrants. He was called “Chaim” by his mother, and his name is shown as “Hyman” on his school report cards. In his biography his daughter Linda Greene Bennett, said that it was not known when he began using “Lorne”, nor when he added an “e” to Green.
This Canadian History for Kids article continues when Greene began acting while attending Queen’s University in Kingston, where he also acquired a knack for broadcasting with the Radio Workshop of the university’s Drama Guild on the campus radio station CFRC. He gave up on a career in chemical engineering and, upon graduation, found a job as a radio broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
Greene was assigned as a newsreader on the CBC National News. The CBC gave him the nickname “The Voice of Canada”; however, his role in delivering distressing war news caused many listeners to call him “The Voice of Doom”. He also narrated documentary films for the National Film Board of Canada.
This Canadian History for Kids article continues when Greene began appearing in one-off episodes on live television in the 1950s. In 1953, he was seen in the title role of a one-hour adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello. In 1955 he was Ludwig van Beethoven in an episode of the TV version of You Are There.
This Canadian History for Kids article continues in 1959 when Greene landed a role as Ben Cartwright, for the smash TV show Bonanza. The patriarch of the clan, Pa Cartwright was serious and reasonable, Ben kept the ranch running. Thrice widowed, he raised his three boys on his own, with a little help from the cook, Hop Sing. There were no women on the Ponderosa. The program ran from 1959-1973, making Greene a household name.
After Bonanza was off the air, he continued to work in television, starring in Battlestar Galactica, Lorne Greene’s New Wilderness, and was the sponsor for Alpo commercials, and guest-starred on the Highway To Heaven episode,”The Smile In The Third Row”, with Michael Landon. In 1987, we lost our most beloved “Pa” and “Voice of Canada”.
And that’s this week Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of our Canada.