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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

September 4
The Last Hunt
An Indian woman is brought home by Joe and Hoss after they discover her alone and about to have a baby.
El Toro Grande
Hoss and Joe travel to Monterey carrying a large amount of cash for the purchase of a prize bull.
The Outcast
After her father and brother are hanged for murder, Leta Malvet becomes an outcast.
September 8
House Divided
Frederick Kyle creates problems in the Cartwright home when he comes to Virginia City to gain support for the Confederacy.
The Gunmen
While in Texas, Joe and Hoss are mistaken for the Slade brothers who are involved in a feud between two families. Guest Star: Ellen Corby
The Fear Merchants
Bigot Andrew Fulmer is running for mayor.
September 9
The Spanish Grant
Rosita Morales pretends to be heiress Isabella Marie Inez de la Cuesta in order to get a land grant which includes part of the Ponderosa.
Blood On The Land
A sheepherder, who was originally just passing through the Ponderosa, decides to stay there permanently.
Desert Justice
Ben's ranch hand, Dave Walker, has been accused of killing the wife of Marshall Dowd.