20 Things About Bonanza The Cartwright Clan Kept Close To Their Chests

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Image: NBC Television
Image: NBC Television

Bonanza may have finished all the way back in 1973, but it still maintains a place in many TV fans’ hearts. And the series’ winning mix of Western adventure and family drama saw it run for an incredible 14 seasons up to that year. But such a durable and successful show isn’t without a few production secrets that even the biggest fans may not know about. So, without further ado, here are 20 of the best.

Image: Ronny Jaques / National Film Board of Canada / Library and Archives Canada / PA-116178
Image: Ronny Jaques/National Film Board of Canada/Library and Archives Canada

20. Lorne Greene was given an ominous nickname in his native Canada

Before he starred in Bonanza as Ben Cartwright, Lorne Greene worked as a newscaster for CBC Radio in Canada. And during the Second World War, his voice would deliver bad news to listeners all over Canada. That role, moreover, lent him a rather ominous soubriquet: the “Voice of Doom.”

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Image: YouTube/Nic8719
Image: YouTube/Nic8719

19. Pernell Roberts hated being on the show and disagreed with its message…

Adam Cartwright actor Pernell Roberts appeared to regret his decision to sign up to Bonanza – not least because he thought that the hit Western TV series should have had a deeper social message. In fact, when he left the show in 1965, he proclaimed to The New York Times, “My being part of Bonanza was like Isaac Stern sitting in with Lawrence Welk.” And comparing himself to a violin virtuoso and the show to a saccharine band leader can’t have earned himself any favors with the show’s producers.

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