Dan Blocker chose to play Hoss because of his size and ''relatable'' appearance

"My face? I look like porky pig. And who can hate him?" he said.

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Dan Blocker will always be remembered for the role of Hoss on Bonanza, and we can't see anyone else playing the role better than the Texas native. He and the character shared many similarities, including being gentle giants. The actor portrayed the role so well that he had to learn how to separate Dan from Hoss.

Blocker's size and what he considers a ''relatable'' appearance is why playing Hoss made sense. In an interview with the Austin American-Statesman in 1969, the Bonanza actor talked about his looks and why they played a crucial role in his career. A line in the newspaper article stated that Blocker "is aware that he isn't a handsome leading man and never will be, and that suits him."

How did the Western star feel about that?

"I'm so happy; I think it is a frame-up," Blocker said while laughing. "Audiences want someone to identify with. It began with Wally Beery, and Marjorie Main and Anna Magnani [helped]."

The actor was secure with his appearance and used it to his advantage. No one had the ''perfect look,'' no matter how hard Hollywood tried to push that image. Blocker represented the average individual and did so while blossoming into stardom.

"If it weren't for my size, I never would have played Hoss. So my bulk has given me entree to innumerable career opportunities. But there are hundreds of thousands of outsize guys. So I had to capitalize on my talent too," he added.

Just because Blocker didn't think he looked like a charming prince doesn't mean he wished he did. The actor thought he looked like another type of loveable character.

"My face? I look like porky pig. And who can hate him? I have a baby face, and some women have called me cuddly. Well, I'm built for comfort, not speed. Maybe that's why I try to build racing cars, to make up for my lack of speed."

Whether Blocker was building cars, being cuddly or looking relatable, he was still a legend, and nothing could take that away from him.

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KirwoodDerby 12 months ago
When an actor is cast because of their lack of beauty, that's when the truth and the inner beauty comes shining through. Real people see that and trust those faces as real folks, not phony Hollywood posers. Country folks can spot 'em. It's a shame he had to die so young. Can you imagine the wonderful things he may have done next.
CaptainDunsel KirwoodDerby 12 months ago
There's another group of actors who, because of their faces, rarely get to play anything but villains, unless they are under heavy makeup. Men like Andreas Katsulas and Ron Perlman come to mind. Very talented performers, but it takes a "G'kar" or a "Vincent" for the producers to give them an opportunity to do much more than snarl and menace.
I firmly believe the audiences would accept them as real and likable characters without the camouflage - if only the PTB could see past their own noses.
Lori531 12 months ago
I loved his character. The show was wholesome and respectful towards women. The stories were great. Hoss didn't have a mean bone in his body. A true gentle giant.
MaryMitch Lori531 12 months ago
I think the writers loved Hoss as much as the audience. He got some great stories.
forthekids 12 months ago
It was more than his facial features and his height that made Dan Blocker popular as "Eric("Hoss")Cartwright" on"Bonanza"..it was his personality and his good moral that made him one of the most popular characters on the series.
CoreyC 12 months ago
Most big men like Dan Blocker and Alan Hale Jr are kind and gentle.
Runeshaper 12 months ago
Dan Blocker was an AWESOME human being (-:
JHP 12 months ago
everyone knows that I cannot stand most westerns on tv (except Lone Ranger and Cisco Kid) but Dan Blocker on any show would have been special
LoveMETV22 12 months ago
Interesting story. Thanks MeTV Staff. Dan Blocker was such a likeable actor. He played Hoss so well that it would be hard to imagine anyone else in that role. From the comments in the article it sounds as though he was very humble in nature, which may have added to the character he portrayed on Bonanza.
McGillahooala 12 months ago
It’s a shame there weren’t more like him.
CoreyC McGillahooala 12 months ago
The Skipper Alan Hale Jr. He loved the role and embraced his fans when they came to his restaurant.
Pacificsun 12 months ago
Reading these interviews, is like hearing the actors tell their story. It feels like Dan Blocker (Hoss) is just around the corner. And so hard to believe it was so long ago. I hope they would've been pleased to be so fondly enjoyed these decades later. They earned their place. And many seemed like wonderful personalities. I'm glad their work brought them joy.
Andybandit 12 months ago
Dan really did a great job, as Hoss. He was a big teddy bear.
Sway 12 months ago
I wore a brown vest to work one day. My boss said “Hoss Cartwright”. I never wore that vest again.
harlow1313 Sway 12 months ago
You might have replied, "Damn straight, piss ant."
cherylgafner Sway 12 months ago
That's too bad.
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