HomeStatisticsFilmstarsPernell Roberts Height, Weight, Age, Net Worth, Biography

Pernell Roberts Height, Weight, Age, Net Worth, Biography

Pernell Roberts Quick Info
Height 6 ft 1 in
Weight 80 kg
Date of Birth May 18, 1928
Zodiac Sign Taurus
Date of Death January 24, 2010

Pernell Roberts was an American actor, singer, and activist who is best remembered for playing Adam Cartwright on the super-hit Western television series Bonanza (1959-1965) and chief surgeon Dr. John McIntyre on the medical drama series Trapper John, M.D. (1979–1986).

Born Name

Pernell Elven Roberts Jr.

Nick Name

The Liberal Cartwright

Pernell Roberts as seen in 1965
Pernell Roberts as seen in 1965 (CBS Television / Wikimedia / Public Domain)


He was born on May 18, 1928.


On January 24, 2010, he passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 81 years in Malibu, California.

Sun Sign


Born Place

Waycross, Georgia, United States





Roberts studied at the Waycross High School in his hometown and graduated in 1945.

Furthermore, he attended the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and the University of Maryland but did not complete his graduation from either university.


Actor, Singer, Activist


  • Father – Pernell Elven Roberts Sr., (Dr. Pepper Salesman)
  • Mother – Minnie (Betty) Myrtle Morgan Roberts


Folk, World, Country


Vocals, Tuba, Horn, Sousaphone, Percussion


RCA Victor

Net Worth

At the time of his death, Pernell Roberts’ net worth was $10 million according to




6 ft 1 in or 185.5 cm


80 kg or 176.5 lbs

Girlfriend / Spouse

Pernell Roberts had dated –

  1. Vera Mowry (1950-1959)​ – The Magic of Lassie (1978) actor married Vera Mowry, a college professor, on January 4, 1951. The couple became parents to a son named Jonathan Christopher Roberts (October 1951-1989) but filed for divorce in 1959.
  2. Judith Roberts (1961-1971)​ – His second marriage to Judith Roberts lasted from October 15, 1962, until 1971.
  3. Betty Kelly
  4. Kara Knack Roberts (1971-1996)​ – On June 1, 1972, Pernell got married to Kara Knack Roberts. The couple stayed married for nearly 25 years before finalizing their divorce in 1996.
  5. Eleanor Criswell (1998-2010) – He wed Eleanor Criswell in 1999 and their marriage lasted for more than a decade, only ending due to Pernell’s death in January 2010.
Pernell Roberts seen as Adam Cartwright from Bonanza in 1959
Pernell Roberts seen as Adam Cartwright from Bonanza in 1959 (NBC Television / Wikimedia / Public Domain)

Race / Ethnicity


Hair Color


Eye Color


Sexual Orientation


Distinctive Features

  • Baritone voice
  • He sported a beard in the latter part of his career.
Pernell Roberts as seen in 1972
Pernell Roberts as seen in 1972 (Unknown / Wikimedia / Public Domain)

Pernell Roberts Facts

  1. He was a mere 13 years, 3 months, and 6 days younger than Lorne Greene, who played his onscreen father Ben Cartwright on Bonanza. Furthermore, he was only 6 months and 22 days older than Dan Blocker, who played his younger brother Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright on the show.
  2. Roberts was chosen over actors like Wayne Rogers and John Forsythe to play the titular role in Trapper John, M.D.
  3. He had participated in the historic civil rights marches from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. Additionally, he was instrumental in forcing NBC to stop hiring white actors for non-white minority parts.
  4. Although his role in Bonanza brought him immense fame, in reality, Roberts detested his role. He left the show after 6 seasons following creative differences with the producers over his character’s portrayal and the show’s below-average quality of writing.
  5. In 1973, he essayed the role of Rhett Butler in the short-lived musical version of the cult classic, Gone With the Wind (1939).
  6. The actor Gregory Harrison grew up watching Bonanza and idolized Roberts as his childhood hero. Years later, the two got the chance to share screen space together in Trapper John, M.D.

Featured Image by CBS Television / Wikimedia / Public Domain

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