HomeEntertainmentOn This Day: ‘Bonanza’ Airs Special Episode Featuring Legendary Actress Susan Strasberg

On This Day: ‘Bonanza’ Airs Special Episode Featuring Legendary Actress Susan Strasberg

by Madison Miller
Photo by: George Stroud/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Legendary Western TV series, “Bonanza” was no stranger to epic and entertaining guest stars over the years.

Anyone from Adam West to Alan Hale Jr. to Tina Louise to Dawn Wells to Robert Vaughn to Robert Pine to Mike Farrell, “Bonanza” used familiar TV and Hollywood faces to keep people tuning in.

On this day in 1968, “A Severe Case of Matrimony” aired on NBC. The episode stars the typical cast of the series — Lorne Greene, Dan Blocker, and Michael Landon. However, popular actress Susan Strasberg is a guest star of that 1968 episode.

She plays the character Rosalita — who all the men at the Cartwright ranch grow infatuated with.

Fans of popular films between the 1950s and 1970s may recognize Susan Strasberg. She is known for her appearance in movies like “Picnic,” “Kapo,” “Scream of Fear,” “Rollercoaster,” “Stage Struck,” and “Time Remembered.”

One of her first most recognizable roles far before “Bonanza” was actually her Broadway debut. She played Anne Frank in “The Diary of Anne Frank” in 1955. According to Playbill, Strasberg was always in the shadows of other massive figures in her life. She was the daughter of Lee Strasberg. The movie legend created a name for himself through his adaptation of Stanislavski’s approach to acting called “The Method.”

Strasberg was also a close friend to Hollywood and pop culture timeless icon, Marilyn Monroe. She wrote about the friendship in one of her autobiographies “Marilyn and Me, Sisters, Rivals and Friends.” Strasberg appeared in an old ABC special about the screen star called “Remembering Marilyn.” Gloria Steinem, Robert Wagner, and Robert Mitchum also appear in the show.

Her career consisted of slasher and horror films. Eventually, she had a primarily TV-driven career in the 1980s.

Sadly, Strasberg died in 1999 when she was 60 from cancer.

Other ‘Bonanza’ Guest Star

Another major actor to appear in “Bonanza” was Adam West. He is most known for portraying Batman in the 1960s ABC series as well as in the 1966 feature film.

According to IMDb, Adam West appeared in a 1961 episode of the Western series called “The Bride.” The episode description is “The Cartwright boys are shocked by the unexpected arrival of a beautiful young woman who claims to be Mrs. Ben Cartwright. But when Ben comes home to the Ponderosa that night, the new bride declares that he is not the man she married and the Cartwrights soon find themselves involved in what could become a fatal case of mistaken identity.”

West appears as Frank Milton in the episode. Another Batman star also appeared on “Bonanza.” Cesar Romero appeared as Guido Borelli in an episode titled “The Deadliest Game” from 1965. He originally played the Joker in the TV series. He even refused to shave his iconic mustache under all that creepy Joker-inspired makeup. His curly, sinister mustache is free in the “Bonanza” episode.