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Bonanza

Pernell Roberts

Adam Cartwright

Although he was only 13 years younger than his Ponderosa papa, Pernell Roberts was chosen to play the role of the eldest Cartwright offspring, Adam. When he was in high school, Roberts sang at local USO shows. He served for two years in the United States Marine Corps. After flunking out of two colleges, Roberts headed to New York City in 1955 to try his luck on Broadway. In 1957, he headed out West to take on film and TV roles, where he soon found himself on the Ponderosa. On the side he recorded an album of folk songs, 1962's Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies. He exited Bonanza at the height of its popularity during the 1964-65 season, annoyed at the show's direction and inequality. He went on to guest-star on some of the popular TV shows of his day, including The Love Boat, Barnaby Jones and Gunsmoke. His career experienced resurgence in 1979 when he was cast in the title role on Trapper John, MD, a part he played for seven years. Roberts is retired from acting and the only living original cast member of Bonanza.

Character Bio

The eldest of the Cartwright boys, Adam is a genuine chip off the old block: He shares his father’s strong moral code while always looking out for his two younger siblings. Although each of the Cartwright boys is precious to his father, as the senior son, Adam is Ben’s closest confidant. Aside from being a strong and smart rancher, Adam also is well-read and educated. He has a love of the arts, especially books and poetry. He also possesses a wicked sense of humor, which he displays often when dealing with his brothers.

Bonanza TV Schedule

Friday
August 28
2:30pm
The Trouble With Amy
Amy Wilder's neighbor wants to have her declared incompetent so he can claim her land.
TV-PG
3:30pm
A Rose For Lotta
Lotta Crabtree is hired by mining tycoon Alpheus Troy to lure one of the Cartwrights into town and hold him for ransom in exchange for Ponderosa timber rights.
TV-PG
4:36pm
Death On Sun Mountain
Ben discovers Mark Burdette and Early Thorne selling antelope meat to the miners at high prices.
TV-PG
Monday
August 31
2:30pm
The Newcomers
Ben discovers hydraulic miners camped on the ranch and has Hoss escort them off.
TV-PG
3:30pm
The Paiute War
The Pauites are falsely accused of attacks and the militia is summoned.
TV-PG
4:36pm
Enter Mark Twain
Virginia City is visited by Samuel Clemens who writes editorials for the Territorial Enterprise.
TV-PG
Tuesday
September 1
2:30pm
The Julia Bulette Story
Little Joe falls in love with Julia Bulette, a saloon owner.
TV-PG
3:30pm
The Saga Of Annie O'Toole
Annie O'Toole comes to Washoe Digging with a claim to a mine filed by her beau Swede Lundberg. Guest Star: Alan Hale
TV-PG
4:36pm
The Diedeshiemer Story
Philip Diedeshiemer works with Adam to prevent mine cave-ins. Guest Star: Alan Hale
TV-PG