Pernell Elven Roberts, Jr. (May 18, 1928-January 24, 2010) was an American stage, movie and television actor, as well as a singer. In addition to guest starring in over 60 television series, he was best known for his roles as Ben Cartwright's eldest son, Adam Cartwright, on the western series Bonanza, a role he played from 1959 to 1965 and as chief surgeon Dr. John McIntyre, the title character on Trapper John, M.D. He was also known for his lifelong activism, which included participation in the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965 and pressuring NBC to refrain from hiring whites to portray minority characters. Roberts was born in 1928 in Waycross, Georgia, the only child of Pernell Elven Roberts, Sr., a Dr Pepper salesman, and Minnie (Betty) Myrtle Morgan Robert. During his high school years, Pernell played the horn, acted in school and church plays and sang in local USO shows. He attended, but did not graduate from, Georgia Tech.
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