‘Bonanza’: Dan Blocker Revealed His ‘Superstitions’ Over Show’s Success Ahead of His Final Season Before Death

by Evan Reier
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Depending on who you ask, superstitions are either a bunch of nonsense or things to live by. For Bonanza star Dan Blocker, his answer was firmly one-sided.

Dan Blocker played the iconic Hoss Cartwright on Bonanza. The burly but kind man played a character with the same characteristics. Alongside his father Ben and brothers Little Joe and Adam, the Cartwrights were, arguably, as iconic as any character group in TV history.

In 1971, Blocker sat down with TV legend Bobby Wygant. The pair discussed the state of the show as it entered its 13th year of the program and what Blocker had been up to.

Blocker was asked if he is “superstitious” about the 13th year of the show’s run. In classic fashion, Blocker explains that he possibly would be, save for his worries over the previous seasons.

“No, I had been superstitious about the first year, the second and the third and the fourth and so on,” Blocker replied jokingly. “I didn’t dream that the thing would go beyond the first year. And had pretty much the same feeling every year since. So the 13th year has no particular significance than it’s just another year.”

Unfortunately, the 13th year, or season did end up being the man behind Hoss Cartright’s final one. Dan Blocker tragically died at the age of 43 due to a complication from gallbladder surgery on May 13, 1972.

Bonanza Star Dan Blocker Starts Restaurant Chain

One of the biggest pieces of Bonanza and Dan Blocker’s legacy is the success of the Bonanza restaurant chains. While the restaurants have gone through twists and turns through the decades, Blocker started it all.

The first Bonanza Steakhouse opened in 1963 in Westport, Connecticut. However, the Ponderosa chain started opposite of the original steakhouse, with the first coming in 1965 in Kokomo, Indiana.

A year later, two brothers, Sam and Charles Wyly, bought the Bonanza Steakhouses from Blocker. The pair eventually opened up hundreds of restaurants across North America, while Ponderosa faced issues to stay open.

Two and a half decades after Blocker first started the original chain, the Ponderosa chain was bought by Metromedia in 1988, with the Bonanza side following in 1989.

Since, the chain has steadily decreased in numbers, with just 25 still in business in the U.S. at the time of writing.

Outsider.com