I remember Bonanza for a few reasons — first because of great story lines, and as a youngster because there was usually some kind of trigger-play. I guess I identified with Little Joe (Michael Landon) because he was hotheaded, impetuous, slightly crazy but at heart, a romantic.
I also remember Bonanza because it was the first western in color.
Little Joe was a part of the Cartwright family, headed by the thrice-widowed patriarch Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene).
I didn’t think about it at the time but Ben certainly got around — he had three sons, each by a different wife: the eldest was the urbane architect Adam Cartwright (Pernell Roberts) who built the ranch house (the Ponderosa); the second was the warm and lovable giant Eric "Hoss" Cartwright (Dan Blocker); and the youngest, the aforementioned “Little Joe.”
By season 10, Adam is gone and “Candy” Canaday has joined the father and brothers as a plucky Army brat turned cowboy, who becomes the Cartwrights' confidant, ranch foreman and timber vessel captain.
The series ran from Sept. 12, 1959 to Jan. 16, 1973.
It certainly was a pleasure to revisit these old friends.