Information From IMDb
The Cartwright's thousand-square-mile Ponderosa Ranch is located near Virginia City, Nevada, site of the Comstock Silver Lode, during and after the Civil War. Each of the sons was born to a different wife of Ben's; none of the mothers is still alive. Adventures are typical western ones, with lots of personal relationships/problems thrown in as well.
Written by Ed Stephan
Lorne Greene ... Ben Cartwright / ... (407 episodes, 1959-1973)
Michael Landon ... Joseph 'Little Joe' Cartwright / ... (391 episodes, 1959-1973)
Dan Blocker ... Eric 'Hoss' Cartwright / ... (385 episodes, 1959-1972)
Pernell Roberts ... Adam Cartwright (172 episodes, 1959-1965)
Bill Clark ... Townsman / ... (109 episodes, 1959-1973)
Victor Sen Yung ... Hop Sing (96 episodes, 1959-1973)
Victor Sen Yung ... Hop Sing (96 episodes, 1959-1973)
Ray Teal ... Sheriff Roy Coffee (95 episodes, 1960-1972)
David Canary ... 'Candy' Canaday (84 episodes, 1967-1973)
Bob Miles ... Townsman / ... (72 episodes, 1959-1968)
Martha Manor ... Blonde Saloon Girl / ... (69 episodes, 1960-1970)
Betty Endicott ... Brunette Saloon Girl / ... (66 episodes, 1960-1969)
Bing Russell ... Deputy Clem Foster / ... (56 episodes, 1961-1972)
Mitch Vogel ... Jamie Hunter Cartwright / ... (45 episodes, 1968-1973)
Cosmo Sardo ... Bartender / ... (36 episodes, 1960-1968)
Grandon Rhodes ... Doctor / ... (27 episodes, 1960-1967)
Troy Melton ... Gunman / ... (21 episodes, 1959-1972)
Hal Burton ... Townsman / ... (21 episodes, 1966-1973)
and many more, notably,
Denver Pyle, John Mitchum, Ed Prentiss, Victor French, Strother Martin
DeForest Kelley, Roy Barcroft, Harry Carey Jr.Karl Swenson,
Slim Pickens, Leo Gordon, James Coburn, Jack Elam, Edward Faulkner,
Ben Johnson, Eric Fleming, Bruce Dern, Buddy Ebsen, Barry Sullivan
Dan Duryea, Edgar Buchanan, Vic Morrow, Hank Worden,Henry Hull
John Carradine, Leif Erickson, Vera Miles, Steve Forrest,Stacy Keach Sr.
and David Huddleston
Included 2 Directors of Duke,
* In the show's early episodes, the writers would typically have the Cartwrights being hostile to visitors to their property. Lorne Greene objected to this pointing out that with the Ponderosa being as large as it is, the Cartwrights would be an important business interest in the community. Thus visitors would naturally come for economic and political reasons as well as social ones and the Cartwrights would logically welcome them as such. The producers agreed and altered the premise of the characters accordingly.
* During the first season of the show, the guest stars were paid far more than the stars of the show because the producers didn't think that the stars were well-known enough to pull in viewers.
* When Dan Blocker died unexpectedly shortly before filming began for the final season, it was decided to have Hoss die too by having him killed in an accident. The opening episode, a two-hour special in which Little Joe marries only to see his bride die, was originally scripted to feature Hoss.
* When Pernell Roberts left the show, his character Adam was written off by having him move to Australia.
* Adam's mother was from Boston, Hoss's from Sweden and Little Joe's was from New Orleans.
* The character 'Ben Cartwright' was ranked #2 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" (20 June 2004 issue).
* Ben was a major in the United States Army.
* Although it got off to a rough start, by 1961 it was the #1 show on TV.
* Most viewers have only heard the famous theme song by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans played as an instrumental. The theme song actually had lyrics and there is footage of the lead actors singing those lyrics.
* According to the 1973 book "Marilyn Beck's Hollywood", when Pernell Roberts told Lorne Greene he was leaving the series because he wanted to challenge himself as an actor, Greene told him to stick to it as he would be so rich by the end of the run he could hire Tennessee Williams himself to write a play for him. Roberts' career went into a tailspin that lasted over a decade after he left the show. Co-star Michael Landon later said of Roberts' departure that they simply took a leaf out of the dining room table and split the money three rather than four ways. While the post "Bonanza" Roberts struggled (until later catching on with "Trapper John, M.D." (1979), Greene, Landon and Dan Blocker became very wealthy from their income from the show, which all three wisely invested.
* The character Ben Cartwright is a New Englander who had been a seaman. Before setting out West with his young son Adam, the widower Ben had been a ship's chandler, running a shop supplying gear to merchant vessels. (This past is referred to in several episodes, but most significantly, "Elizabeth, My Love" broadcast during the second season on May 27, 1961, when an older Ben is remembering Adam's late mother, his first wife.)
* This was the first US television show to have all its episodes filmed in color.
* Lorne Greene, Dan Blocker and Michael Landon sang a lyric version of this famous instrumental theme for the pilot, but it never aired.
* During the filming of one episode, Lorne Greene was required to jump off a small ledge into a lake five feet below. Michael Landon later recalled that when Greene did the stunt, he jumped into the water feet first and went completely under, but his hair piece came off and floated on the surface of the lake. Landon and the rest of the crew watched to see what would happen. After a short while, Greene's hand shot up out of the water, grabbed the hairpiece, and pulled it down. Greene emerged from the lake, wearing his hairpiece slightly askew. He walked nonchalantly past the snickering crew, and went into his trailer without saying a word.
Warner Brothers Burbank Studios - 4000 Warner Boulevard, Burbank, California, USA
Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California, USA
Anchor Ranch, Lone Pine, California, USA
Baldwin Dry Lake, San Bernardino National Forest, California, USA
Bell Ranch, Santa Susana, California, USA
Big Bear Lake, California, USA
Big Sky Ranch - 4927 Bennett Road, Simi Valley, California, USA
Bourne's Meadow, Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Bowers Mansion Park - 4005 U.S. Highway 395 N., Carson City, Nevada, USA
Bronson Canyon, Griffith Park - 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, California, USA
Browne's Meadow, California, USA
Cedar Lake, Big Bear Valley, San Bernardino National Forest, California, USA
Chávez Ravine, Elysian Park, Los Angeles, California, USA
Clark Fork River, Stanislaus National Forest, California, USA
Clark's Summit, San Bernardino National Forest, California, USA
Clark's Summit, Stanislaus National Forest, California, USA
Coronado National Forest, Arizona, USA
Corriganville, Ray Corrigan Ranch, Simi Valley, California, USA
Davis Creek Park, Carson City, Nevada, USA
Death Valley National Park, California, USA
Desilu Studios - 9336 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, California, USA
Diamond Peak, Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Donnell's Lake, Stanislaus National Forest, California, USA
Donnell's Vista, Stanislaus National Forest, California, USA
Eureka Valley, Death Valley National Park, California, USA
Franklin Canyon Reservoir, Santa Monica Mountains, Los Angeles, California, USA
Glenbrook Valley, Nevada, USA
Golden Oak Ranch - 19802 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall, California, USA
Gooseneck Meadow, Martis Valley, Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Grandview Point, San Bernardino National Forest, California, USA
Holcomb Valley, California, USA
Iverson Ranch, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, USA
Janss Conejo Ranch, Thousand Oaks, California, USA
Kern River, California, USA
Lake Los Angeles, California, USA
Lake Sherwood, Thousand Oaks, California, USA
Lake Valley, Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Los Padres National Forest, Goleta, California, USA
Lucky Baldwin Mine, San Bernardino National Forest, California, USA
Mescal, Arizona, USA
Mount Rose Summit, Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Nevada Beach, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA
Old Tucson - 201 S. Kinney Road, Tucson, Arizona, USA
Paramount Studios - 5555 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
Ponderosa Ranch - 100 Ponderosa Ranch Road, Incline Village, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA
Ponderosa Wagon Camp, Incline Village, Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Red Hills Ranch, Sonora, California, USA
Red Rock Canyon State Park - Highway 14, Cantil, California, USA
Rose Knob Peak, Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Round Hill Pines Beach, Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Saddleback Butte State Park, California, USA
Sand Harbor, Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Shay Ranch, Big Bear Valley, San Bernardino National Forest, California, USA
Sonora Pass, California, USA
Sonora, California, USA
Spahn Ranch, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, USA
Spooner Lake, Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park, Incline Village, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA
Spooner Meadow, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA
Tahoe Meadows, Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Truckee River, California, USA
Truckee, California, USA
Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park - 10700 W. Escondido Canyon Rd., Agua Dulce, California, USA
Zephyr Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA
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