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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

Monday
June 1
3:00pm
The Wooing Of Abigail Jones
Ponderosa ranch hand Hank Myers is in love, but the object of his affection pays him no mind.
TV-PG
4:00pm
The Lawmaker
After Sheriff Coffee is injured, Virginia City needs a new Sheriff.
TV-PG
5:11pm
Look To The Stars
Ben is puzzled when the son of his friends is expelled from school.
TV-PG
Tuesday
June 2
3:00pm
The Gamble
The Cartwrights are framed for a bank robbery and murder.
TV-PG
4:00pm
The Crucible
When Adam and Joe go to Eastgate after a cattle drive, they decide to meet at Signal Rock in three days.
TV-PG
5:11pm
Inger, My Love
While Ben is waiting for Adam and Hoss to return for Hoss' birthday, he reflects on first meeting Hoss' mother.
TV-PG
Wednesday
June 3
3:00pm
Blessed Are They
Ben is appointed to decide who will get custody of the twin grandchildren of two feuding families.
TV-PG
4:00pm
The Dowry
While hitching a ride with the stage, Joe is caught in a holdup.
TV-PG
5:11pm
The Long Night
Adam is attacked and forced to switch clothes with an escaped convict name Poindexter. Guest Star: James Coburn
TV-PG