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