Pernell Roberts: Married, Bio, Life, Death, Wife, Career, Net Worth


People usually consider Pernell Roberts as one of the greatest actors that the film industry ever got to see, and that is undoubtedly for all the good reasons. As mentioned, Pernell Roberts is someone who marked his name in the history of the film industry and acts as a source of undying inspiration to aspiring and existing actors of this age.

Pernell also showcases how a person can remain in the memory of people regardless of their existence. Although Roberts is no more with us in physical form, his works always remain close to our hearts and help us revisit his moments. And that is also the beauty of films. It helps capture people as now when we look at all the movies; we can see how gifted Pernell was as an actor.

Pernell Roberts

He appeared in several movies through his entire lifetime and earned a well worth place in the list of legends of the industry. Roberts appeared in movies and TV shows like Bonanza, Trapper John, The Magic of Lassie, and others as well. All this helped Pernell establish as a well-known actor, and he remains so till now.

However, these are all the things that we know about his professional life already. What we are here to find out does not limit to the movies or TV series he appeared in. In fact, today, we talk about Pernell Roberts through the perspective of his personal life and learn more about him in an in-depth manner. Here is everything about Pernell Roberts that you need to know about.

Pernell Roberts Early Life

Pernell Roberts, the American actor, was born on May 18, 1928, in Waycross, Georgia, United States of America. Roberts lived to the age of 81. While the whole world recognized him as Pernell Roberts, he was born as Pernell Elven Roberts Jr. but did not use it as his professional name because it was very long and did not sound attractive.

Roberts was born to his parents, father Pernell Elven Roberts who was born in 1907 and his mother Minnie Myrtle Morgan Roberts who was born on 1910. As a young child, Pernell grew up in a very tightly knit family environment where both his parents were determined to provide him with every happiness available.

As a child, Pernell sang in several places, including the local USO shows and grew up in Georgia with his family. Roberts is also the only child of his parents, so he never had any siblings while growing up. Rather, Pernell occasionally played with his cousins when any family gatherings happened.

However, the fact that he did not have any siblings of his own never affected Pernell while growing up. In the 19th century, there started a famine of people divorcing each other just like that. But, Pernell’s parents remained married  throughout their lives and helped Roberts become the man he is known for.

Pernell Roberts Education

The famous actor grew up with his parents, and like any normal parents, Pernell’s parents always emphasized the importance of studies and helped him with everything they could. This made Pernell very conscious about the importance of studies while growing up, which instead helped him become a successful person.

Roberts joined the local high school in Waycross, Georgia where he immediately started to win over his teachers. Even as a kid, Roberts always possessed a charm like no other kid in high school. This helped him become one of the favorite students of every teacher who ever taught, Roberts.

While at high school, Roberts started playing musical instruments and in school, he particularly liked playing the Horn. Since he was good at studies and also involved in learning musical instruments, it allowed Pernell to join in the school and church plays where he sang and played instruments.

After high school graduation, Pernell joined the Georgia Tech where he started studying very hard. However, because of some inconvenience, Roberts did not complete his education at the college. Instead, Roberts joined the United States Marine Corps and served there for two years.

After serving in the Marine Corps, Pernell joined the University of Maryland. There, the actor who never thought of acting before and only played musical instrument started to attend acting classes in classical theatre. While studying, Pernell appeared in multiple movies and eventually left studies to pursue a career in acting.

Name Pernell Roberts
Date of birth May 18, 1928
Birthplace Waycross, Georgia, United States of America
Ethnicity White
Height  6 ft
Weight N/A
Profession Actor
Married N/A
Nationality American
Birth sign Taurus
Measurement N/A
Net Worth $10 million


Personal Life

While his parents remained married throughout their lives and never separated or divorced, Pernell is somewhat different. During his lifetime, Pernell married four times in total. His first marriage took place in 1951 when he was just starting out with his career. He married a woman named Vera Mowry.

Vera and Pernell met while working on a play together and later started dating. After marrying, Pernell and Vera welcomed a son together and named him Christopher Roberts the same year. However, sadly, his son died in 1989 in a tragic motorcycle accident. This took a toll on the couple’s relationship, and eventually, they divorced.

Roberts married the second time to another woman named Anna Labrecque on October 15, 1962. The couple met through mutual friends. During their marriage, Pernell and Judith did not have any children. Unfortunately, Roberts and Anna ended up getting divorced in 1971.

After his second divorce, Roberts married another woman named Kara Knack in 1972. After staying married for more than a decade, Purnell and Kara also divorced in 1996. The reason for divorce remains a mystery. After the third time, Roberts met and married a beautiful woman named Eleanor Criswell.

The couple remained married until Purnell’s death in 2010 took their relationship apart. Roberts died of pancreatic cancer on January 24, 2010.


After leaving college to pursue his career in the film industry, Pernell had to make sure that his career worked out because, for that, he left his studies. Roberts made his first professional theatre appearance alongside Moss Hart, Kitty Carlisle in a play called The Man Who Came to Dinner at the Olney Theatre located in Olney.

His first professional appearance gathered him a lot of positive critics, and with its help, Roberts landed another job, an eight-week long play at the Bryn Mawr College where he portrayed the character of Dan in a play called Emlyn William’s Night Must Fall and also portrayed the role of Doolittle in Pygmalion.

From there, Roberts started to climb the way up and did not look back. In just three years of his first professional appearance in a theatre play, Roberts moved to New York to appear in his first off-Broadway act. He performed one-act operas and ballets at the Equity Library Theatre. On his journey, Roberts also won the Drama Desk Award in 1955.

In 1957, Pernell signed a contract with the Columbia Pictures, and this helped him make his first movie appearance in Desire Under The Elms. Followed by that, Pernell appeared in The Sheepman in which he appeared beside Glenn Ford and Shirley MacLaine. These two were also one of the most famous actors.

In 1959, Pernell started appearing in the famous TV series called Bonanza. In this TV show, he portrayed the character of Adam Cartwright and appeared for more than 200 shows from 1959 to 1965. This TV show acted as a breakthrough in his career and landed him a topmost place in the film industry.

Since then, he appeared in several TV series including The Girl From U.N.C.L.E, Gunsmoke, The Big Valley, Lancer and many other.

Net Worth

As you already see, Pernell possessed one of the most successful careers an actor can have, and for this, many struggling could trade anything. However, all this did not just stumble in Purnell’s path, but instead, he worked very laboriously for everything he achieved in life.

In his lifetime, Pernell appeared in more than 100 movies and TV shows, which is totally insane numbers for anyone. With immense work, Pernell gathered a very hefty fortune as well. During the time of his death, Roberts possessed a net worth of $10 million which in early 2010 is a huge amount.

While his career flourished, Pernell also bought lavish houses and drove in fancy cars. Roberts enjoyed time with family and liked to go to different restaurants.

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