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Early Afternoon

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

August 20
Blood Tie
Joe is in Smithville and meets Tracy, who saves Joe from getting shot.
The Late Ben Cartwright
Sam is backing Faraday as candidate for governor. Sam wants Ben's support for his candidate but Ben refuses as he knows Sam is corrupt. Sam then hires a gunman to kill Ben, but in the end, it's revealed that Sam is behind it all
August 21
Commitment To Angelus
Joe and Candy stop in Angelus and meet Joes old friend Steve Regan.
In Defense Of Honor
Davey was abandoned by his tribe during a battle in which his parents were killed, but has been taken care of by Ben since. Ben is arranging a treaty between the Utes & White Men, yet a situation with Davey threatens the treaty.
August 22
Salute To Yesterday
The Cartwrights and Candy help the army fight off gold thieves.
The Last Vote
When Hoss and Joe back different candidates for Mayor, they decide to bet on the outcome of the election.