top of page

TV: Pernell Roberts Unhappy on “Bonanza”

May 28, 1963 - Producer David Dortort said this week that next season on NBC’s “Bonanza,” Adam Cartwright, the eldest of the Cartwright boys, who is played by Pernell Roberts (pictured), will engage in matrimony. Mr. Dortort, in announcing the news, made it sound like the romance of the century. The bridegroom-to-be, however, does not share Mr. Dortort’s enthusiasm. Mr. Roberts, who has been trying unsuccessfully to get out of “Bonanza” for more than a year, said today: “I couldn’t care less. I still want out. But I’ll have to hang on for two more years because of my contract.” Roberts’ big beef with “Bonanza” is that it is “bad literature,” and in four seasons, he says, it hasn’t improved. When well-meaning friends and colleagues remind him that “you can’t argue with success,” Roberts replies, “That, I say, is a degenerate point of view.” Roberts’ frankness is a constant source of embarrassment to Dortort, the sponsors, and the network, but evidently, they would rather absorb the insults than consider breaking up the Cartwrights. On tour with his own bride of a few months, Roberts recently was asked by an interviewer which of last season’s “Bonanza” episodes he liked best. “The ones I wasn’t in,” he replied.


bottom of page