The legendary Western show Bonanza is revolves around the "Cartwright" family and their weekly shenanigans at their ranch near Lake Tahoe, Nevada. "Ben Cartwright" and his three sons, "Adam", "Hoss" and "Joe", including a few other characters made up the cast of the show!
The iconic Western TV show Bonanza was on the air for 14 years (and 14 seasons) from 1959 until 1973 on NBC. The story is about the "Cartwright" family led by "Ben" (Lorne Greene), who takes care of his three sons "Adam" (Pernell Roberts), "Hoss" (Dan Blocker), and "Little Joe" (Michael Landon), had audiences glued to the TV screens for years. To this day, Bonanza is still one of the most popular and successful TV shows of all time.
And the show was a real stepping stone for the youngest "Cartwright" family member, played by Michael Landon. After Bonanza ended in 1973, Dan Blocker (who played "Eric 'Hoss' Cartwright on Bonanza) had passed in 1972, Michael Landon took only one year off until he threw himself into another project that would keep him occupied for almost a decade.
He went on to star in, direct, and produce the show Little House on the Prairie, another true TV classic that ran for 9 seasons until 1983. While Bonanza really put him on the map, Landon's legacy will always be Little House on the Prairie.
Meanwhile, Bonanza is still ranked overall as the second-longest-running western series on U.S. network television, behind CBS's Gunsmoke!
In fact, there are even still two stars today who are still alive that starred in Bonanza. Tim Matheson and Mitch Vogel. Both actors continue to act in the entertainment industry today and seem to be fulfilling the legacy of the Bonanza cast.
Did you know that Bonanza also had many famous guest stars throughout the series run? Celebrities from Zsa Zsa Gabor to Leonard Nimoy, graced our favourite western series through the years. You can check them all out here!