“Bonanza” fans knew Dan Blocker as the gentle heart of the Cartwright family. The role of Eric “Hoss” Cartwright gave him his big break, and the 13 seasons he spent playing the gentle giant were appreciated by millions. But how lucrative was his career?
According to CelebrityNetWorth.com, the iconic actor was worth $5 million at the time of his death. That amount is roughly equivalent to $25 million in today’s dollars.
Dan Blocker was acting on TV as early as 1957, though none of these opportunities proved very fruitful until the start of “Bonanza” in 1959. The hit show would go on for 14 seasons. 13 of them saw Blocker star as “Hoss” Cartwright until he died tragically following a gall bladder surgery in 1972.
Though much of Blocker’s net worth stemmed directly from his acting on the show, he had other sources of income as well. According to MeTV.com, he had partial ownership in a chain of “Bonanza” Steakhouses. The business grew rapidly and did quite well, in part due to Blocker’s appearances at different locations.
Blocker was born on December 10, 1928, in DeKalb, Texas. According to IMDb.com, he played football at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. After he graduated, he was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War and served for more than a year. It may surprise you to learn that he was wounded in combat. He earned a Purple Heart as a result.
Dan Blocker of ‘Bonanza’ Fame Was Pursuing His Ph.D. at UCLA
Dan Blocker originally went to Los Angeles for school. He was discovered in a phone booth because of his traditional Texan clothing, complete with a straw hat. Even after he started his acting career, however, he wanted to pursue his Ph.D. However, the amount of work required of him on a hit show like “Bonanza” was too much and he didn’t have time for school.
According to CelebrityNetWorth.com, Dan Blocker owned a number of mansions in Los Angeles at the time of his death, one of which is owned today by Rob Zombie. His costars on “Bonanza,” Michael Landon and Lorne Greene, donated beachfront land to California in Dan Blocker’s name after his death.