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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

Thursday
September 3
2:30pm
The Hanging Posse
Joe and Adam join a posse to help a friend catch his wife's killer; but soon discover the posse has murderous intentions.
TV-PG
3:30pm
Vendetta
Virginia City residents leave Ben and Hoss to deal with an outlaw gang.
TV-PG
4:36pm
The Sisters
Adam is courting Sue Ellen Terry, a woman well known by the men folk in Virginia City. Guest Star: Buddy Ebsen
TV-PG
Friday
September 4
2:30pm
The Last Hunt
An Indian woman is brought home by Joe and Hoss after they discover her alone and about to have a baby.
TV-PG
3:30pm
El Toro Grande
Hoss and Joe travel to Monterey carrying a large amount of cash for the purchase of a prize bull.
TV-PG
4:30pm
The Outcast
After her father and brother are hanged for murder, Leta Malvet becomes an outcast.
TV-PG
Tuesday
September 8
2:00pm
House Divided
Frederick Kyle creates problems in the Cartwright home when he comes to Virginia City to gain support for the Confederacy.
TV-PG
3:00pm
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
TV-PG
4:00pm
The Fear Merchants
Bigot Andrew Fulmer is running for mayor.
TV-PG