David Dortort

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David Dortort
Born David Katz
(1916-10-23)October 23, 1916
New York City
Died September 5, 2010(2010-09-05) (aged 93)
Los Angeles, California
Alma mater City College of New York, 1936
Occupation Writer; Television producer
Years active 1957–2001
Spouse(s) Rose Seldin (married 1940–2007, her death); 2 children
Children Wendy D. Czarnecki
Fred Dortort

David Dortort (October 23, 1916 – September 5, 2010),[1] 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, Dortort 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 five episodes of The Restless Gun. [2]

Alan W. Livingston of NBC hired Dortort to write the screenplay for the pilot episode of Bonanza.[3] He did it at night, while producing The Restless Gun by day.[4]

In 2001, the alumni association of City College of New York, where he had studied history, honored him with its John H. Finley award.[5]

Personal life[edit]

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.[6]


Dortort's two published books:


  1. ^ Woo, Elaine (September 8, 2010). "David Dortort dies at 93; created and produced TV western 'Bonanza'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  2. ^ "Dan Blocker - IMDb". IMDb. n.p. n.d. Retrieved 2 October 2016. 
  3. ^ Weber, Bruce (March 16, 2009). "Alan W. Livingston, Talent Spotter Who Signed Beatles, Dies at 91". New York Times. p. A25. 
  4. ^ King, Susan (September 19, 2009). "Autry National Center salutes 'Bonanza' Sunday". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 21, 2009. 
  5. ^ "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)
  6. ^ Weber, Bruce (September 9, 2010). "David Dortort, 'Bonanza' Creator, Dies at 93". New York Times. p. A28. Retrieved 2010-09-22. 

External links[edit]