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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

January 28
Walter And The Outlaws
When Hoss' friend Obie has to leave town to visit his sister, he leaves his beloved dog Walter in Hoss' care.
Invention Of A Gunfighter
Joe's friend Johnny Chapman has never learned to use a gun and is humiliated by Al Mooney who challenges him to a gun fight.
January 29
The Hostage
Ben is kidnapped and held for $100,000 ransom by three men and a woman.
The Wild One
Hoss goes to Lafe Jessip to buy some horses to use for breeding stock.
January 30
Thanks For Everything, Friend
Adam falls in the river and is saved by Tom Wilson and Sue Miller. Guest Star: Tom Skerritt
Logan's Treasure
Sam Logan is released from prison after serving 20 years for stealing $100,000 in gold dust.