Monday, January 25, 2010


They're all gone.

The four men who stimulated my childhood television viewing experience every Sunday night at 9 p.m., and for decades later in syndication, have now all died.

The show was Bonanza. The last living resident of the Ponderosa Ranch, Pernell Roberts who played the role of Adam Cartwright, the eldest of Ben Cartwright's three sons, died of cancer Sunday at the age of 81.

Roberts turned his back on the show that catapulted him to stardom after six seasons. Ben (Lorne Greene), Hoss (Dan Blocker) and Little Joe (Michael Landon) carried on. David Canary, who still stars in one of the soap operas, replaced Roberts on the show, but only as a ranch-hand, not a Cartwright.

When Pernell goes to his final resting place, he brings with him a huge part of my youth.

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