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Dan Blocker

Eric "Hoss" Cartwright

At the time of his birth in 1928, Dan Blocker was reported to be the largest baby born in Bowie County, Texas; he weighed 14 lbs. He began acting in college – where he also played football and boxed – though he mainly pursued a career as a teacher. The Korean War interrupted his theater development, and after the war he moved to L.A. to work on his Ph.D in education. It was then that he began taking bit parts in TV Westerns to make ends meet – and he scored when he was cast as the hulking Eric “Hoss” Cartwright on Bonanza. Blocker's singing voice was heard on two Bonanza cast albums, as well as a solo album of his own pop tunes. The tall actor launched a chain of restaurants called the Bonanza Steak House in the 1960s. He died of a blood clot to the brain on May 13, 1972. Though the show went on, his presence was sorely missed -- the show was canceled in 1973. There is a museum in Blocker's hometown of O’Donnell, Texas dedicated to him.

Character Bio

The middle Cartwright brother, Hoss is a big, loveable lug. Much larger than his brothers, he's also gullible and more than a little simple-minded -- and easily manipulated by Adam and Little Joe. Hoss'’ heart is big, and he sees the humor in most situations. Slow to anger, he's also strong and not to be trifled with. He defends his family at all costs, and is ready to help strangers who need his care. His naiveté gets him into trouble sometimes, though in the end, he always manages to find his way out of a jam.

Bonanza TV Schedule

July 28
The Jonah
Hoss befriends a new ranch hand thought to be a jinx, but starts to worry when a gypsy fortune tellers predictions of events ending in death start to come true.
The Spotlight
Ben is the chairman of the entertainment committee for the Virginia City anniversary celebration, and books a retired opera singer, unaware that she lost her voice.
July 29
Patchwork Man
Hoss befriends Patch, a young recluse with a secret.
A Time To Step Down
Wrangler Dan Tolliver is getting older and slower and Joe and Hoss think he needs easier work to do.
July 30
Credit For A Kill
Joe and old friend Morgan Tanner both shoot at a horse thief, and when he's killed, learn there's a reward for his capture.
Four Sisters From Boston
The four Lowell sisters arrive from Boston to claim the ranch their uncle left them.