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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

October 5
The Rival
Hoss is sweet on a young lady named Cameo who has also caught the eye of Jim Appelgate. Hoss faces a dilemma when he is sure he witnesses Jim taking part in lynching.
The Infernal Machine
Hoss tries to assist Daniel Pettibone in getting financial backing for his 'horseless carriage'. When a stranger comes along and invests a large sum, it inspires others to follow suit. Then the stranger runs off with the cash a
October 6
The Thunderhead Swindle
While trying to deal with cattle rustlers Ben learns of a strike at the Thunderhead Mine. Suspecting foul play he decides to do some investigating of new owners Furnas and Cunningham, and also talks to the former owners Bronson
The Secret
Mary Parson is murdered and her family says she was on her way to meet little Joe, but he knows nothing about it. Joes is arrested for her murder when a credible witness says he saw them together the day of the murder.
October 7
The Dream Riders
Major John Cayley, and old friend of Ben's, comes to the Ponderosa to carry out an experiment with is hot air balloon, which he says is for the Army. Ben is unaware that Cayley and his men are planning to rob the back and use t
Elizabeth, My Love
Adam is battling a high fever and Ben keeps vigil, as he recalls his courtship with his first wife Elizabeth, The daughter of the man Ben served under as First mate, Captain Abel Morgan Stoddard. When the Captain was forced to