18 Facts About Bonanza


Bonanza is an American Western television series that ran on NBC from September 12, 1959, to January 16, 1973.

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Title "Bonanza" is a term used by miners in regard to a large vein or deposit of silver ore, from Spanish bonanza and commonly refers to the 1859 revelation of the Comstock Lode of rich silver ore mines under the town of Virginia City, not far from the fictional Ponderosa Ranch that the Cartwright family operated.

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In 2002, Bonanza was ranked No 43 on TV Guides 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time, and in 2013 TV Guide included it in its list of The 60 Greatest Dramas of All Time.

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Bonanza had three sons, each by a different wife: the eldest was the urbane architect Adam Cartwright, who built the ranch house; the second was the warm and lovable giant Eric "Hoss" Cartwright (Dan Blocker); and the youngest was the hotheaded and impetuous Joseph, or "Little Joe" (Michael Landon).

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Bonanza was considered an atypical western for its time, as the core of the storylines dealt less about the range but more with Ben and his three dissimilar sons, how they cared for one another, their neighbors, and just causes.

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Bonanza was a period drama that attempted to confront contemporary social issues.

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Bonanza played guest roles on several TV westerns and attained the title role in I Was a Teenage Werewolf.

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Bonanza portrayed the youngest Cartwright son, whose mother was of French Creole descent.

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Bonanza appeared in more than 250 movies and some 90 television programs during his 37-year career.

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Bonanza had played a sheriff many times in films and television.

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Bonanza returned two seasons later after co-star Dan Blocker's death, reportedly having been approached by Landon.

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Bonanza once used martial arts to assail a towering family foe.

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NBC kept it because Bonanza was one of the first series to be filmed and broadcast in color, including scenes of picturesque Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

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Bonanza remained high on the Nielsen ratings until 1971, when it finally fell out of the Top Ten.

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Horse saddles used by the Bonanza cast were made by the Bona Allen company of Buford, Georgia.

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Bonanza joined the ranks of his fellow co-stars Roberts and Greene, both of whom had begun the series with hairpieces.

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Bonanza is uniquely known for having addressed racism, not typically covered on American television during the time period, from a compassionate, humanitarian point-of-view.

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The Nevada Territory did not split from the Utah Territory until 1861, meaning that until at least the 5th season, Bonanza is set in what in real life would have been Utah Territory.

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