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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

Wednesday
July 1
2:30pm
Journey Remembered
Ben looks back at his travels west with five year old Adam and Hoss mother Inger.
TV-PG
3:30pm
The Quality Of Mercy
Joe comes upon a mine accident involving his friend Seth and Seths future father-in-law.
TV-PG
4:36pm
The Waiting Game
Little Peggy Dayton is waiting for her Daddy to return home and vows that hell be home by the time she counts to a hundred.
TV-PG
5:48pm
The Legacy
Ben sets out after poachers on his own and when only his horse returns with blood on the saddle, his sons assume hes been killed and go after the men they think are responsible.
TV-PG
Thursday
July 2
2:30pm
The Legacy
Ben sets out after poachers on his own and when only his horse returns with blood on the saddle, his sons assume hes been killed and go after the men they think are responsible.
TV-PG
3:30pm
Hoss And The Leprechauns
Hoss comes to the rescue of a little man being pursued by a bear.
TV-PG
4:36pm
The Prime Of Life
Ben is driven to complete a contract and soon regrets his relentlessness when one of his men is killed in an accident.
TV-PG
5:48pm
The Lila Conrad Story
Joe and Adam are accompanying Judge Knowlton and his wife to Virginia City when Joe finds Lila Conrad hiding in his wagon.
TV-PG
Monday
July 6
3:00pm
Ponderosa Matador
The Ponderosa welcomes Senor Tenino and his beautiful daughter Dolores.
TV-PG
4:00pm
My Son, My Son
Ben is looking forward to marrying Katherine Saunders.
TV-PG