Close

TV Land Channel Guide

- TV Land

Cable Providers

Satellite Providers

Michael Landon

Bonanza

Michael Landon

Joseph "Little Joe" Cartwright

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
April 21
3:00pm
The Thunderhead Swindle
While trying to deal with cattle rustlers, Ben learns of a strike at the Thunderhead Mine.
TV-PG
4:00pm
The Secret
Mary Parson is murdered and her family says she was on her way to meet little Joe.
TV-PG
Tuesday
April 22
3:00pm
The Dream Riders
Major John Cayley, and old friend of Ben's, comes to the Ponderosa to carry out an experiment with his hot air balloon.
TV-PG
4:00pm
Elizabeth, My Love
Adam is battling a high fever and as Ben keeps vigil, he recalls his courtship with his first wife Elizabeth.
TV-PG
Wednesday
April 23
3:00pm
Sam Hill
Blacksmith Sam Hill is forced by his father to release the land on which his mother is buried.
TV-PG
4:00pm
The Smiler
Hoss comes to the defense of Widow McClure who is being harassed by Arthur Bolling.
TV-PG