October 23, 1916
New York City
|Died||September 5, 2010
Los Angeles, California
|Alma mater||City College of New York, 1936|
|Occupation||Writer; Television producer|
|Spouse(s)||Rose Seldin (married 1940–2007, her death); 2 children|
|Children||Wendy D. Czarnecki
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: Bonanza (1959–73) and 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 (1967–1973).
From 1954-55, he was involved in directing and writing for The Public Defender. He produced '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 and Dan Blocker played multiple roles in The Restless Gun in the first season.
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.
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. Retrieved 2009-09-24.
- Woo, Elaine (September 8, 2010). "David Dortort dies at 93; created and produced TV western 'Bonanza'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- Weber, Bruce (March 16, 2009). "Alan W. Livingston, Talent Spotter Who Signed Beatles, Dies at 91". New York Times. p. A25. Retrieved 24 September 2009.
- King, Susan (September 19, 2009). "Autry National Center salutes 'Bonanza' Sunday". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
- "BULLETIN BOARD; City College Alumni Group Will Bestow Honors". New York Times. October 3, 2001. p. A19. Retrieved September 24, 2009.
- Weber, Bruce (September 9, 2010). "David Dortort, ‘Bonanza’ Creator, Dies at 93". New York Times. p. A28. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- David Dortort at the Internet Movie Database
- David Dortort interview video at the Archive of American Television
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