‘Bonanza’: Watch Ben Cartwright Actor Lorne Greene Make Hilarious Cameo in ‘Happy Days’

by Joe Rutland

What in the name of the Ponderosa is going on here? “Bonanza” star Lorne Greene happens to snag a cameo appearance on “Happy Days.”

OK, this you will have to see to believe. Greene, who played patriarch Ben Cartwright for 14 seasons on the NBC western, drops by the ABC hit sitcom.

Greene strolls into the scene, wearing familiar cowboy attire, and the studio audience breaks out in applause. Howard Cunningham, played by Tom Bosley, is busy talking to a gentleman about where to stay. The place where the scene takes place is called the Hollywood Palms.

Let’s take a minute and watch the “Bonanza” star interact with “Mr. C” on this 1977 episode of “Happy Days.”

Greene’s appearance is in part one of a two-part episode simply called “Hollywood” from the fifth season of “Happy Days.”

Both stars in this scene, though, have died. Greene died on Sept. 11, 1987, at 72 years old. Bosley died on Oct. 19, 2010, at 83 years old.

‘Bonanza’ Star Didn’t Take Too Keenly To Thinking About Retirement

Even after “Bonanza” was off the air, Lorne Greene wasn’t the type of person to sit at home and count his money.

Far from it for the Canadian-born actor. During an interview with Sue Kellaway on the Australian TV show “Today With Steve Liebmann and Sue Kellaway,” Kellaway asked Greene, “Do you ever think you’ll retire? Or are you just going to go on forever?”

Greene smiled and said, “Well, I like to keep busy. As long as my mind is active, I’m happy.”

At the time, he was involved in many different things.

“Yes, I think it behooves all of us to be involved in as much as possible,” Greene said. “We’re part of this world. If we’re not involved, if all people are not involved, then the world loses something. It’s only through involvement that we can grow.”

After “Bonanza” ended, Greene hosted “Lorne Greene’s New Wilderness,” a show dedicated to nature conservation. That is something that meant a lot to Greene personally. Of course, he also starred in “Battlestar: Galactica” as Commander Adama. He reprised the role in “Galactica: 1980.”

People, though, all over the world know of Greene from his years as head of the Cartwright clan. “Bonanza” is in many countries thanks to the miracle of reruns. Generation after generation, new viewers become introduced to the show.