On This Day: ‘Bonanza’ Ends Legendary Run on TV in 1973

by Amanda Glover
(Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

Any major fan of western television shows has heard about Bonanza. The legendary cast included Michael Landon as Little Joe, Dan Blocker as Hoss Cartwright, Lorne Green as Ben Cartwright, and Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright. The show ended its iconic TV run today in 1973.

Bonanza lasted fourteen seasons and ran on NBC. The series centers around the patriarch of the family, Ben Cartwright, and his three boys each by a different wife, Adam, Hoss, and Joe. The Cartwright’s are a family of ranchers and the richest people in the county in Virginia City, Nevada.

The series’ title is a term used by miners regarding a large vein or deposit of silver ore. It’s from the Spanish bonanza and commonly refers to the 1859 revelation of the Comstock Lode of rich silver ore mines under Virginia City.

In 2002, the show ranked No. 43 on TV Guide‘s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. The period ranged between 1861 and 1867, which was right after the Civil War.

‘Bonanza’ Star Dan Blocker’s Kids Followed in Their Father’s Footsteps

Anyone who’s heard of Bonanza Blocker knows about the late Bobby “Dan” Davis Blocker. The late actor played Hoss for fourteen years on the popular long-running television series before his death in 1972 at 42-years-old due to complications from gallbladder surgery. He passed away a year before the series ended, to which it never truly recovered.

The actor was married to Dolphia Parker Blocker and fathered four children, all with names starting with ‘D.’ Looks like the couple wanted to continue the tradition.

Blocker’s youngest, Dirk Blocker, has many impressive acting credits on his resume including Poltergeist and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Dirk’s older brother, David Blocker is an award-winning film producer. Some of his credits include Don King: Only in America and Trouble in Mind.

Blocker also fathered two twin daughters, Danna and Debra, who’ve chosen to stay out of the public eye.

In an interview with EmmyTVLegends, Bonanza creator and producer, David Dotort discussed his decision have Blocker play Hoss.

“When it came to writing the part of Hoss Cartwright, I wrote it with Blocker in mind,” he said. “That was a great advantage because I knew his qualities as an actor.”

Some actors are just born to play certain roles. At Outsider, we are confident the late actor’s children continue to be proud of him and vise versa.