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Bonanza

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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

Wednesday
September 17
12:00pm
The Truckee Strip
The Cartwrights are embroiled in a feud with their neighbors the Bishops.
TV-PG
1:10pm
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
Thursday
September 18
12:00pm
Vendetta
Virginia City residents leave Ben and Hoss to deal with an outlaw gang.
TV-PG
1:10pm
The Sisters
Adam is courting Sue Ellen Terry, a woman well known by the men folk in Virginia City.
TV-PG
Friday
September 19
12:00pm
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
1:10pm
El Toro Grande
Hoss and Joe travel to Monterey carrying a large amount of cash for the purchase of a prize bull.
TV-PG