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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

Thursday
August 28
12:30pm
Company Of Forgotten Men
Candy meets an old friend, ex-soldier Russell, who was forced to retire from Army after 30 years of service, but received no pension.
TV-PG
1:40pm
The Clarion
Ben helps his old friend Ruth Manning maintain ownership of her newspaper despite Judge Tabors efforts.
TV-PG
Friday
August 29
12:30pm
The Deserter
Candy befriends Bellis, an army Sergeant charged with murder. Bellis & his Indian wife want to prove his innocence by getting proof that someone is supplying the Indians with fire rifles, & soon Candy & Joe become involved too.
TV-PG
1:40pm
The Running Man
Joe and Candy go to Buttleville to help Candys friend, and discover that powerful Calvin Buttler is responsible for driving out new settlers.
TV-PG
Tuesday
September 2
12:30pm
The Unwanted
Bens friend Marshall Luke Mansfield and his daughter Lorrie visit the Ponderosa.
TV-PG
1:40pm
The Fence
Ben & Hoss visit their friend, Sam, but are surprised when soldiers show up. Unknown to Ben & Hoss, Sam is really Thomas Andrews, who ran a Confederate prison camp during the Civil War, & the prisoners are out for revenge.
TV-PG