Before making a name for himself as a TV western actor, Dale Robertson served as a combat engineer in World War II. He entered the Army at age 20 in 1943. While stationed in California, Robertson had a portrait photograph taken to send to his mother. The photo was displayed in the photographer's studio when Robertson's infantry division sailed for France.
Robertson was twice wounded by shrapnel but didn't receive the Purple Heart as he didn't report the wounds to a military medical unit. He dressed his own wounds and got on with his work. The injuries prevented Robertson from serving again during the Korean War.
While overseas, Robertson began to receive letters from Hollywood agents who had seen his photo on display at the studio. After returning from duty, Robertson went to Los Angeles. His career began in earnest in 1949, when he was cast in his first credited role as Jesse James in "Fighting Man of the Plains." After this role he was typecast, and he has since been known almost solely for his work in the western genre.
In 1957, Robertson was cast in his most famous role, as Jim Hardie, the "left-handed gun" in "Tales of Wells Fargo" on NBC. Robertson enjoyed a healthy television career after "Tales of Wells Fargo" was canceled in 1962, starring in "The Iron Horse," ABC's "J.J. Starbuck" and as part of the original cast of "Dynasty," playing a business rival to Blake Carrington.
Robertson retired in 1994.