Pernell Roberts died on January 24, 2010, after receiving a diagnosis of cancer in early 2007. He was 81 years old when he passed away.
Roberts, born in Georgia in 1928, found early fame as an actor on one of television's most iconic series, the long-running western "Bonanza." He began his run as the Cartwright clan's oldest son in 1959 and stayed with the program until 1965, when dissatisfaction with the show's artistic direction drove him to pursue other interests.
In 1979, Roberts again enjoyed series success, and received an Emmy nomination, when he starred as "Trapper John, M.D." on CBS. The medical drama, in which Roberts recreated a character originally played by Wayne Rogers on the acclaimed situation comedy "M*A*S*H," ran for seven seasons.