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By Persona Non Grata

The series was set in the 1850s on an immense ranch in Nevada owned by widower, Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene). His three sons, Little Joe (Michael Landon), Hoss (Dan Blocker), and Adam (Pernell Roberts), lived with Ben. Each of his sons had a different mother (all deceased), which explained why they were so different in personality and looks. Adam, the eldest, was staid and trustworthy. Hoss, the middle son, a gentle giant, was easygoing but a bit slow on the uptake. Handsome Little Joe, the youngest, was a high-spirited charmer and a bit of a lady’s man. Bonanza was second only to Gunsmoke as the longest-running TV western and the first to be telecast in color. Dan Blocker died suddenly before the 1972 - 1973 season was shot. This, along with a move to a different day and time, resulted in a drop in ratings and ultimately Bonanza’s cancellation.

Ben Cartwright – Lorne Greene
Little Joe Cartwright – Michael Landon
Eric “Hoss” Cartwright – Dan Blocker
Adam Cartwright – Pernell Roberts
Hop Sing – Victor Sen Yung
Sheriff Roy Coffee – Ray Teal
Candy – David Canary
Dusty Rhoades – Lou Frizzel
Jamie Hunter – Mitch Vogel
Griff King – Tim Matheson
Deputy Clem Foster – Bing Russell


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Check out our Bonanza forum! Do you have a favorite episode of the show? What do you remember about the series? Do you have any questions about it or its stars? Now you can post comments and questions directly to our TV forums! Click here to see what other Bonanza viewers have said or to post your own comments about the show!

Your Memories Shared!

With 14 years on the air, it is hard to pick a favorite episode. Of course the comedies were all super. From Hoss and the Leps, to Hayburner, they were great. My favorite show is Different Pines, Same Wind though.. A different Joe Love Story. The love between a young man and an fiesty older woman. Kerry Picket was old enough to be his grandmother so there was no romance here but they grew to be so fond of each other. "If you were just 20 years older Joe Cartwright"... " If you were just 2o years younger. They don't make girls like you anymore, I know I have looked. Of course we have the bad guys and in the end the Cartwrights help her out to save her piney woods and she will live her live out taking care of those piney woods that her and her Amos called home. Michael and Irene Tedrow did a superb job in this episode. I enjoyed all of the ones Michael wrote also.. The thing about this show was that the crew of Michael, Lorne and Dan were good friends and it showed . Pernell was different in his attitude toward the show but he was friends with the others also. I had the pleasure of meeting David Dortort and his wife along with Mr. Boggs a year ago. Wonderful people . Mr. Dortort hit the real Bonanza pairing those four together.. I just wished they had more westerns on the air but more shows of this kind that we aren't afraid of letting our kids watch or we can actually enjoy without worry what is being said or done or implied.


Note: This is just a random sample of the Bonanza messages in our TV forums! Click here to see what others have said or to post your own comments!



Aired: September 12, 1959 – January 16, 1973

Cast: Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker, Pernell Roberts

Network: NBC

Genre: Western

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