Robert Temple Ayres Dead: 'Bonanza' Illustrator Dies At 98

03/10/2012 09:55 am ET

LOS ANGELES -- Robert Temple Ayres, the set illustrator whose burning Ponderosa map opened TV's long-running Western series "Bonanza," has died in California. He was 98.

His daughter, Sharon Richards, says he died of heart failure Feb. 25 at his home in Riverside County.

Ayres began his studio career on "Ben-Hur" and worked as a set illustrator on hundreds of films, including "Blue Hawaii" and "The Black Hole."

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