According to Bonanza star, David Canary, the man who played Ben Cartwright was just like his character in the show.
We of course remember David Canary for his role as ranch foreman Candy Canaday in the Western drama. Canaday was a confident Army brat who turned into a cowboy. He became the Cartwright’s confidant, ranch foreman, and timber vessel captain.
When it was all said and done, there were few who were closer to the Cartwright family than him. Canaday even risked his life for them on multiple occasions.
As someone who was so close to Ben Cartwright on the show, it only makes sense that he spent time around the man who played Cartwright while out of character. And that man was Lorne Greene. Greene is known for many notable television roles.
He played Commander Adama in Battlestar Galactica and Galactica 1980. However, he is perhaps best remembered for his time playing Ben Cartwright in Bonanza.
After all, Canary did open up about his time on set with Greene in a past interview with the Television Academy Foundation. He says that Lorne Greene and Ben Cartwright were essentially the same person.
“And Lorne Greene, he was just exactly what his character was almost,” Canary recalled. “He was a kind, gentle, bright, intelligent man. He had the voice of the century.”
You can watch the full interview down below:
Canary also said that Greene had a natural announcer’s voice. Sounds like he could have made a career in radio if his days as an actor were ever cut short.
“He would walk on the sound stage to do an announcement or something and it sounded like his voice was amplified,” Canary explained. “And it wasn’t. Amazing, amazing voice.”
‘Bonanza’ Star Turned Down the Denver Broncos
While we now remember David Canary for his role as Candy Canaday on Bonanza, in another universe we may have remembered him as a star of the Denver Broncos.
It’s true — the man who played Candy Canaday for 93 Bonanza episodes between 1967 and 1973 was also a star athlete. After starring at Massillon Washington High School, Canary earned a scholarship to the University of Cincinnati.
And once at Cincinnati, all he did was earn consecutive letters from 1957 to 1959. He was also named the John Please award winner, given to the team’s best lineman. He received that honor in both his junior and senior years of college. Not too bad. After graduation, the Denver Broncos drafted Canary in the inaugural AFL Draft. He, of course, turned them down to pursue a career in acting. And the rest is history.
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