Pernell Roberts Bio, Family, Career, Wife, Net Worth, Measurements

Pernell Roberts

Bonanza famed actor Pernell Roberts (a.k.a Pernel Elven Roberts Jr.) was a renowned name in the Hollywood showbiz. He was best recognized as the bearded actor and his baritone voice. Many people know him for his best performance in the Western television series ‘Bonanza’. There he had portrayed the role of eldest son ‘Adam Cartwright’. Also, he has played the lead character of chief surgeon Dr. John Mclntyre in series ‘Trapper John, M.D. (1979-86).

Besides acting, he had also been popular as a vocalist/singer. He has sung many songs including ‘The Music Man’, ‘Camelot’, ‘Kiss Me, Kate’, and ‘The King and I’. Before the demise of Roberts due to pancreatic cancer, he has worked in many series and dramas. Nevertheless, he entered into the industry by performing in many broadways and off-broadways, for which, he had received awards.


Caption: Late actor and singer, Pernell Roberts
Source: IMDb

Pernell Roberts: Bio, Family, Education

Pernell Roberts was born as the only child of Pernell Elven Roberts Sr. on 18 May 1928. He was born in Waycross, Georgia, the United States of America. His father was a sales representative and mother Minnie Myrtle Morgan Roberts. He has an ethnicity of Afro-American.

During high school, he has performed in school and church plays/dramas. Roberts also played a horn and sang in local USO shows. Later he joined Georgia Tech. but didn’t graduate from it. Then afterward, he served for two years in the United States Marine Corps in 1946. During his time in the armed forces, he joined the Marine Corps Band and had played tuba/horn. Further, he is also expertise in playing sousaphone and percussion. After release from the army, he enrolled himself into the University of Maryland. Nonetheless, it was the first time that he has been exposed to classical acting theatre.

During his University days, he has performed in four productions including Othello and Antigone. However, he left school to make a career in acting.

Pernell Roberts: Career, Life Achievements, & Net Worth

Roberts had made his first professional acting debut through the stage play ‘The Man Who Came to Dinner’ at  Olney Theatre in Olney, Maryland. Following that, for the next eight weeks, he spent at the Bryn Mawr College Theatre in Philadelphia. There he portrayed ‘Dan’ in Emlyn Williams’ ‘Night Must Fall’ and also as Alfred Doolittle in Bernard Shaw’s ‘Pygmalion’.

In 1950, he moved to Washington D.C. and began to perform in Arena stage Theatre for two years. Meanwhile, he also did various minor jobs to support himself financially. Thereafter, he had performed in several productions including ‘The Adding Machine’, ‘The Inspector General’, ‘The Glass Menagerie’, ‘The scarecrow’, and ‘Three Men on a Horse’, amongst others.


Caption: Pernell Roberts and Gregory Harrison in series ‘Trapper John M.D.’
Source: IMDb

He relocated back to New York in 1952, then he made his first off-Broadway in one-acts operas and ballets with the productions like ‘Lyric Theatre’, and ‘Equity Library Theatre’. Later in 1955, he received a Drama Desk Award for his off-Broadway rendition of Macbeth, that followed by the role of Mercutio in ‘Romeo & Juliet’. Further, he had performed at the American Shakespeare Festival and Broadway as well. In 1957, he signed a contract with the Columbia pictures. After that, a year later, he made his movie debut as a son of Burl Ives in ‘Desire Under the Elms’.

His other film credit includes ‘Sheepman (1958)’, ‘Four Rode Otu (1971), and ‘Kashmiri Run (1970)’, amongst others. He also has guest-starred in the series like ‘The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.’, ‘The Big Valley’, ‘Marcus Welby’, ‘Gunsmoke’, ‘The Love Boat’, ‘The Bold Ones’, and ‘The Immigrants’, many others.

He made his last TV appearance as a character ‘Mannix’ in an episode of series ‘Diagnosis: Murder’ in 1997. Before that, he has given his voice to host and narrate the TV anthology series ‘FBI: The Untold Stories’ fro 1991 to 1993.

Before he died, he had earned a huge income from his acting career. Also, he earned some profits from his music career. At that time, his net worth had an estimation of around $10 million.

Pernell Roberts: Personal Life, Wife & Death

Roberts has been very successful in his acting career throughout his life but he was not very successful married life. Therefore, he had married four times in his lifetime. Roberts had married to his first wife Vera Mowry in 1951. She was a professor of Theatre history at Washington State University. Also, a professor emerita of the Ph.D. program in theatre at City University of New york. Together they had only one child Jonathan Christopher Roberts. Unfortunately, at the age of thirty-eight(i.e. 1989), Jonathan died in a  motorcycle accident. Additionally, the eight years of their marriage relationships ended in 1959.

After three years of his separation with the first wife, he married Judith Anna LeBrecque on 15 October 1962. But their married life didn’t last long and divorced in 1971. A year later in 1972, he again remarried to Kara Knack. His third marriage hit the bottom of twenty-four years and ended in 1996. However, there is no information provided on his marriage separation.

Roberts died from pancreatic cancer on 24 January 2010. At the time of his demise, he was married to his fourth wife Eleanor Criswell since 1997.

Pernell Roberts: Body Measurements

The veteran actor was a handsome man who was popular for his beard face with a baritone voice. He had a perfect muscular body that stands to a height of 6 feet and weighed around 80kg. Roberts Jr. had a grey hair color with light brown eye color.

Read about the late personalities who were equally famous Cassandra Harris, James Heltibridle, Bert Kish, Chester Bennington.

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