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Bonanza

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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

Monday
March 2
1:30pm
The Wormwood Cup
Even though the coroners inquest found Joe shot in self defense, he feels guilty for killing Zach Krenshaw.
TV-PG
2:30pm
The Greedy Ones
Gus Shultz, an old prospector, comes into Virginia City claiming he finally struck gold.
TV-PG
Tuesday
March 3
1:30pm
Second Chance
Joe and Hoss have gone to warn the settlers about renegade Indians and Joe is shot by an arrow.
TV-PG
2:30pm
Sense Of Duty
The 116th Division of the Virginia City Militia has Ben called up to active duty along with Major Ben Cartwright.
TV-PG
Wednesday
March 4
2:00pm
The Conquistadors
Four Mexican men are driven from the gold fields and in desperation, plan to kidnap one of the wealthy citizens of Virginia City and hold him for ransom.
TV-PG
3:00pm
Judgment At Olympus
Deputy Gibbs shows up at the Ponderosa to arrest Candy for murder.
TV-PG