Lorne Greene was the stage name of Lyon Chaim Green O.C., LL.D. (February 12, 1915 – September 11, 1987), a Canadian actor. He is best known for his role as "Ben Cartwright" on the long-running western Bonanza. He is also known for the shorter-lived original incarnation of the science fiction franchise of Battlestar Galactica and the award-winning Canadian television nature documentary series "Lorne Greene's New Wilderness", and many other roles spanning his long career.
Greene was born in Ottawa, Ontario to Russian Jewish immigrants, Daniel and Dora Green. Lorne 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). He was assigned as the principal newsreader on the CBC National News. The CBC gave him the nickname "The Voice of Canada"; however, his role in delivering distressing war news in sonorous tones following Canada's entry into World War II in 1939 caused many listeners to call him "The Voice of Doom". During his radio days, Greene invented a stopwatch that ran backwards. Its purpose was to help radio announcers gauge how much time they had available while speaking. He also narrated documentary films, such as the National Film Board of Canada's Fighting Norway (1943). In 1957 Greene played the role of the prosecutor in the socially controversial movie Peyton Place.