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Bonanza

Michael Landon

Joseph "Little Joe" Cartwright

As a teenager in Collingswood, N.J., Eugene Orowitz (a.k.a. Michael Landon) discovered he had a talent for javelin throwing. He received a scholarship to UCLA, though a torn ligament put an end to his athletic career. He soon began taking parts in B movies, eventually landing the starring role in 1957's I Was a Teenage Werewolf. At age 21, he was cast as Joseph "Little Joe" Cartwright and became a TV star. After a decade on Bonanza, Landon began writing and directing episodes, including a solemn two-parter dedicated to his late friend and castmate, Dan Blocker ("Hoss"). With his varied talents, Landon later created the hugely successful series Little House on the Prairie, based on the Laura Ingalls Wilder books of the same name. Audience and critics alike praised him for his on- and off-camera work. After eight years, the series aired its last episode on March 21, 1983. Landon next chose a different path with the NBC fantasy-drama Highway to Heaven. As Jonathan Smith, he played the role of an angel sent back to earth to help save the souls of children. His Little House co-star and good friend Victor French also starred in the show. After five seasons and the death of French, Landon abruptly ended his work on the show in 1989. With a career of righteous roles under his belt, Landon had developed a strong reputation for shepherding wholesome and moral programming. In 1991, after 35 years on NBC, he was released from his contract. Later that year he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away July 1, 1991.

Character Bio

Handsome and clever, youngest Cartwright Little Joe is quite the ladies' man. He is hotheaded and impulsive, which means plenty of trouble. He's quick-tempered to boot, and no matter how noble his cause he often looks before he leaps, leading to peril. Little Joe is a man of passion, and often found in the company of young women. Somewhat of a Western Romeo, he's broken a lot of hearts while failing to avoid heartbreak himself. His great sense of humor and adventure add to his sparkling personality and undeniable charm.

Bonanza TV Schedule

Tuesday
June 2
3:00pm
The Gamble
The Cartwrights are framed for a bank robbery and murder.
TV-PG
4:00pm
The Crucible
When Adam and Joe go to Eastgate after a cattle drive, they decide to meet at Signal Rock in three days.
TV-PG
5:11pm
Inger, My Love
While Ben is waiting for Adam and Hoss to return for Hoss' birthday, he reflects on first meeting Hoss' mother.
TV-PG
Wednesday
June 3
3:00pm
Blessed Are They
Ben is appointed to decide who will get custody of the twin grandchildren of two feuding families.
TV-PG
4:00pm
The Dowry
While hitching a ride with the stage, Joe is caught in a holdup.
TV-PG
5:11pm
The Long Night
Adam is attacked and forced to switch clothes with an escaped convict name Poindexter. Guest Star: James Coburn
TV-PG
Thursday
June 4
3:00pm
The Mountain Girl
Joe finds an injured man and brings him back to his sheep camp where his granddaughter Trudy Harker is tending the flock with the help of her beau Paul.
TV-PG
4:00pm
The Miracle Worker
A faith healer visits Virginia City where he meets - and falls in love with - a young girl who is paralyzed.
TV-PG
5:11pm
The First Born
Clay Stafford signs on to work for the Cartwrights.
TV-PG