Tripti Joshi (Editor)

David Dortort

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Full Name  David Katz
Role  Screenwriter
Name  David Dortort
Years active  1957–2001

David Dortort The High Chaparral Newsletter High Chaparral Reunion

Born  October 23, 1916 (1916-10-23) New York City
Alma mater  City College of New York, 1936
Occupation  Writer; Television producer
Died  September 5, 2010, Los Angeles, California, United States
Spouse  Rose Seldin (m. 1940–2007)
Children  Wendy D. Czarnecki, Fred Dortort
Movies and TV shows  Bonanza, The High Chaparral, The Lusty Men, The Chisholms
Similar People  Dan Blocker, Pernell Roberts, Lorne Greene, Henry Darrow, Victor Sen Yung

Education  City College of New York

The Writer Speaks: David Dortort – Part 1

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).


David Dortort Bonanza Creator David Dortort Dies at 93 Fox News

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.

David Dortort httpsiytimgcomvinyhVpOqJhsIhqdefaultjpg

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

David Dortort 1999 Archival Interview with quotBonanzaquot Producer David

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

1999 archival interview with bonanza producer david dortort

Personal life

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.


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. 
  • References

    David Dortort Wikipedia