Being in Bonanza changed the cast for the better

The cast became a real family, of sorts.

CBS Television Distribution

Not to get all existential about it, but if every person is a combination of every experience that they've ever had, we should probably make our mission in life to become a better person with each experience.

Oddly enough, nowhere is this lesson more exemplary than in that of the cast of Bonanza...well, most of the cast of Bonanza. In many interviews, many cast members like Lorne Greene have actually credited the series with making them better people.

According to Greene's childhood friend, Hy Soloway, Greene wasn't too far away from being a real-life Ben Cartwright at a young age. "I watch him on TV every Sunday," Soloway said to The Sacramento Bee. "And I see or imagine I see certain characteristics in Ben Cartwright that Lorne always had, a courtliness, a gentleness, a doggedness. He was a kind young man, impulsive and restless at times, but always responsible and reliable, a solid citizen."

Once Greene had taken on the role of patriarch Ben Cartwright, however, the transformation was completed. David Dortort, creator of Bonanza, was able to witness Greene's growth firsthand and was profoundly impressed. "It's positively amazing to see how Lorne Greene has become Ben Cartwright in the past six years," he said.

"For example, he and Dan Blocker and Mike Landon used to fool around on the set, actors kidding together. Now, both Blocker and Landon, when they have problems, approach Greene and talk to him as if he were really their father. He's taken on, almost chameleon-like, the mantle of a Solomon."

Dortort explained that Greene had become so much like his Cartwright counterpart that sometimes it was difficult to tell the two men apart. "He's become a man whose opinion is worth listening to, a sage," Dortort said. "It's difficult for any of us to determine where Lorne Greene ends and Ben Cartwright begins."

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5 Comments

Avie 25 days ago
"For example, he and Dan Blocker and Mike London used to fool around on the set, actors kidding together."

Landon, you dolt, LANDON.

And in 1978 I spent part of an afternoon on the set of the original "Battlestar Galactica" with Greene, including having lunch with him, and he was exactly as advertised. A fond memory.
SrLerxst 26 days ago
Strange how when you share this post on Facebook it will not show the screen shot of Bonanza inthis post but a generic MeTv logo instead https://www.metv.com/stories/being-in-the-cast-of-bonanza-changed-the-cast-for-the-better
MaryMitch 26 days ago
Lorne loved being Ben Cartwright - so much so that he built his own ranch house
https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/mesa/2014/05/13/mesa-bonanza-home-ponderosa-replica-lorne-greene-home/9030169/
MeFanFromSavan 26 days ago
Bonanza was great the first 10 seasons. Set and location changes and tired story lines made it a hit and miss episode watch the last few seasons .............. for me.
tootsieg MeFanFromSavan 25 days ago
I feel the same. The show just ran out of steam and Sunday nights without Bonanza were not the same.
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