Tuesday, January 26, 2010

into the sunset

Adam is gone.
Yes, the last of the main cast of "Bonanza" has ridden off into the sunset.
I have to admit, even though I loved his all-black outfits, Pernell Roberts was not my favorite on the show. That choice belonged, of course, to Little Joe, played by Michael Landon.
But how I loved "Bonanza." Before we had a color TV -- yes, shockingly, those days existed -- a neighbor would sometimes invite us to watch the show at their place. What a treat!

Roberts always seemd like a bit of a snob to me, and it wasn't a surprise when he left the show at a point when it was enjoying huge popularity.
I guess, in essence, he rode off into the sunset then.

But it was reported that Roberts, 81 -- it's hard to believe that age! -- died of cancer on Sunday. It also was noted that he had not liked the restrictions of the popular TV show.

"They told me the four characters (Greene, himself and Dan Blocker and Michael Landon as his brothers) would be carefully defined and the scripts carefully prepared," he complained to The Associated Press in 1964. "None of it ever happened."

It particularly distressed him that his character, a man in his 30s, had to continually defer to the wishes of his widowed father.

"Doesn't it seem a bit silly for three adult males to get Father's permission for everything they do?" he once asked a reporter.

"Bonanza," with its three remaining stars, continued until 1973, making it second to "Gunsmoke" as the longest-running Western on TV. Blocker died in 1972, Greene in 1987, and Landon in 1991.

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