Pernell Roberts used to refer to himself as ''the-Last-One'' after the death of his ''Bonanza'' castmates

Roberts was the last surviving Cartwright.

Pernell Roberts might have felt that he was above Bonanza, but he was also aware throughout his life that it may be the very thing that viewers best remember him for. 

According to the Chicago Tribune, Roberts' issues with Bonanza were plain from the start. He stated, "My problems with Bonanza were problems of communication. What we discussed would be never was. I thought it would be a sophisticated show. Instead, it never went beyond the comic strip level."

However, in another interview with Mount Vernon Argus, Roberts wasn't able to place a specific motive for his departure from the series. He explained, "I really don't know. It was boredom, I suppose. If you were to look at what you do and say, 'I don't want to do that anymore...There are other things out there. Life is too short... time is too precious." But he also acknowledged that viewers were best able to recognize him as Adam Cartwright, the eldest of the Cartwright boys.

Roberts stated, "Most people associate in the past. That's how it is with people. It does vary a great deal depending on the lifestyle of the person who recognizes you and asks the question... but people usually think in terms of the past." However, he clarified, "I don't live that way in terms of my profession."

Still, while Roberts was prepared to shed Adam Cartwright, there was a part of him that was prepared to keep a part of the character with him for the rest of his life. According to an article from the Chicago Tribune, Roberts would actually make mention of his Bonanza costars when introducing himself sometimes.

It stated, "According to a statement provided by Mr. Stone [Pernell Roberts' lawyer], he [Roberts] referred to himself jokingly as 'Pernell the-Last-One Roberts." This quip was in reference to Roberts being the last surviving Cartwright after the deaths of Lorne Greene, Dan Blocker, and Michael Landon, the other original Cartwright men.

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18 Comments

SRN 6 months ago
Did the show ever say what happened to Adam? I've heard that he went to sea or he started his own ranch i Australia.
All I know that his pa and brothers seem to have forgotten that he ever existed!
Thacket SRN 3 months ago
He went off to sea. They do mention him here and there. There is even a episode where a supposed "friend" of Adam's comes to the ranch, claiming he works on the same ship as Adam.
Mannixishot 6 months ago
I do get what he's saying. I tend to prefer the more serious Bonanza's to the ones with the crazy hijinks involved. I have an easier time swallowing little kids getting into off the wall scrapes instead of a bunch of grown men.
JulieAckles 6 months ago
As most articles about Pernell tend to be negative, this one is refreshingly not so bad. Bravo for not copying what has been previously written by other authors. Yes, PR was unhappy about the direction the show took. He did offer ideas for shows about current problems in society, but the producer wanted to play it safe. later Landon used those themes for some of his stories as well as other writers did. He brought in Robert v. Barrons script about Hoss and the Leprechauns. I am sorry he wasn't there in some later episodes, but happy to see so many roles that he played in many shows after Bonanza. I only wish we could have seen him in his stage performances.
mdit21 6 months ago
I remember him playing Billy Joe in an episode of "The Odd Couple."
Runeshaper 6 months ago
I guess that's technically true, even though he wasn't the "Constant Cartwright" lol
MaryMitch 7 months ago
Most TV shows don't last 6 years. I can understand how, after 6 years, he decided it was time to explore other options. At the time he left, Bonanza was making 35 episodes a year; there wasn't enough time off to do other projects.
harlow1313 7 months ago
"the last one" - Tina Louise and Mickey Dolenz come to mind. There are likely others.
cperrynaples harlow1313 7 months ago
Yep and don't forget Max Baer and Little Ricky!
LoveMETV22 harlow1313 7 months ago
Kenneth Washington comes to mind.
cperrynaples LoveMETV22 6 months ago
Yes with Robert Clary's death, although just like Jamie & Griff he came on at the end of Hogan's Heroes!
Andybandit 7 months ago
I guess PR meant the original cast. He was the last one alive. The one who played Jamie and Griff are still alive.
cperrynaples Andybandit 7 months ago
Yep, the "surrigate sons" of Ben Cartwright!
MrsPhilHarris 7 months ago
I am baffled how he thought a 1950s television western would be sophisticated. 🤔
He had a job that brought a lot of joy to a lot of people and made him a lot of money. Most people would be satisfied with that.
You would think so.
JulieAckles MrsPhilHarris 6 months ago
He was going by what he was told by Producer David Dortort.
JulieAckles MrsPhilHarris 6 months ago
Frankly, since they wouldn't let him work elsewhere and gave him little to do in most episodes, I am not surprised he moved on. As a fan I am glad he did move on so we could see the wonderful performances on Big Valley, The Virginian, Mission Impossible, Wild Wild West etc. He was very talented. I wish he would have made a Christmas record to go with the Folk Album.
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