David Dortort (October 23, 1916 – September 5, 2010), was a
Hollywood screenwriter and producer, widely known for his role as
producer in two successful
NBC television series:
The High Chaparral
The High Chaparral (1967–71). Dortort's focus shifted in the
late 1960s to the newer series, leaving the production of Bonanza
largely to his associates during its last five and a half years
From 1954-55, Dortort was involved in directing and writing for The
Public Defender. He produced
The Restless Gun
The Restless Gun (1957–59), The Cowboys
television version (1974), and a prequel series featuring younger
versions of the
Bonanza characters called Ponderosa (2001), which was
produced with Beth Sullivan. In 1979–1980, he created the 13-week
CBS miniseries, The Chisholms.
Michael Landon appeared in a supporting
role in the pilot for The Restless Gun, starring John Payne, aired on
March 19, 1957, as an episode of The
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars and
Dan Blocker played multiple roles in five episodes of The Restless
Alan W. Livingston of
NBC hired Dortort to write the screenplay for
the pilot episode of Bonanza. He did it at night, while producing
The Restless Gun
The Restless Gun by day.
In 2001, the alumni association of City College of New York, where he
had studied history, honored him with its
John H. Finley
John H. Finley award.
1 Personal life
5 External links
A native of New York City, Dortort was married for 67 years to the
former Rose Seldin, who died September 30, 2007, at age 92. They had
two children, Wendy (Mrs. Czarnecki), and Fred.
David Dortort died in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles,
California, on September 5, 2010, a month and a half before his 94th
birthday, following a history of heart disease.
Dortort's two published books:
Dortort, David (1947). Burial of the fruit. New York: Crown
Publishers. Retrieved 2009-09-24.
Dortort, David (1949). The post of honor. New York: Whittlesey House.
^ Woo, Elaine (September 8, 2010). "
David Dortort dies at 93; created
and produced TV western 'Bonanza'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved
Dan Blocker - IMDb". IMDb. n.p. n.d. Retrieved 2 October
^ Weber, Bruce (March 16, 2009). "Alan W. Livingston, Talent Spotter
Who Signed Beatles, Dies at 91". New York Times. p. A25.
access-date= requires url= (help)
^ King, Susan (September 19, 2009). "Autry National Center salutes
'Bonanza' Sunday". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 21,
^ "BULLETIN BOARD; City College Alumni Group Will Bestow Honors". New
York Times. October 3, 2001. p. A19. Retrieved September 24,
2009. first1= missing last1= in Authors list (help)
^ Weber, Bruce (September 9, 2010). "David Dortort, 'Bonanza' Creator,
Dies at 93". New York Times. p. A28. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
David Dortort interview video at the Archive of American Television
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