Saturday, 2 November 2013

1972, Deaths: Dan Blocker

After 13 seasons (1959 – 1972) of playing Hoss Cartwright, the "gentle giant" brother on Bonanza, actor Dan Blocker died unexpectedly, shortly before filming was to begin for the final season (1972-1973). Only 43 at the time of his death, Blocker died on May 13, 1972, of a pulmonary embolism (a post-operational blood clot to the lungs) following a "routine" gall bladder surgery. Blocker was buried in Woodmen Cemetery, DeKalb, Texas.
 
"After Dan's death," said Lorne Green (who starred as Ben Cartwright, father to Hoss), "I didn't see how the show could continue. I said to my wife, 'That's it. It's finished.'"
 
Dan Blocker was born on December 10, 1928, in DeKalb, Texas as Bobby Don Blocker. When he was six the family moved to O'Donnell, in West Texas. Dan attended local schools before entering Texas Military Institute in San Antonio at twelve. He studied at Hardin-Simmons University and then entered Sul Ross State Teachers College in Alpine in 1947. He became a star football player at Sul Ross.
Dan Blocker High School Yearbook Photo (1946)
Dan Blocker, age 18, with Bill Echols in 1946
At college Blocker became interested in acting. He acted during summer in Boston and served afterwards as infantry sergeant with the 45the Division in Korea. In 1952 he returned to Sul Ross, where he earned an M.A. Degree and married Dolphia Lee Parker, on August 25, 1952. Blocker was a teacher in Sonora, Texas, and Carlsbad, New Mexico, before moving to California in 1956 to work on a Ph.D. degree at the University of California at Los Angeles. During this time he also worked as a substitute teacher at Glendale and began his career as a professional actor in Los Angeles.
Dan Blocker with his wife Dolphia Lee Parker and children Dirk Blocker,
David Blocker, Debra Lee Blocker and Danna Lynn Blocker
Dan Blocker with his four children Dirk Blocker,
David Blocker, Debra Lee Blocker and Danna Lynn Blocker
In 1959 he was cast in the role of "Hoss" Cartwright on the television series 'Bonanza'. Blocker became a popular actor and successful businessman, he was co-owner of a nationwide chain of steak houses called Bonanza. In 1963 he received the 'Texan of the Year Award' and in 1966 he served as honorary chairman of the Texas Cancer Crusade. He played the role of Hoss Cartwright for thirteen seasons on national television, until his death on May 13, 1972. The television series was terminated soon after his death.
Dan Blocker with Frank Sinatra in the 1968 film "Lady in Cement"
Dan Blocker with Bonanza co-stars Michael Landon and Lorne Greene
Dan Blocker in Bonanza with Michael Landon, Lorne Greene and Mitch Vogel
 

13 comments:

  1. dan will be remembered,a wonderful example of what hollywood should be.

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  2. We will miss Dan very much. Too bad they don't make television and motion pictures like that any more.

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  3. Dan Blocker you were my favorite of your brothers, gentle Hoss. Little Joe, Michael L was second, and loved your son in be ba black sheep

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  4. Hoss Cartwright and bonanza are what is missing these days so much violence swearing and sexual situations today

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  5. In a world filled with violence, I am glad we are still able to watch shows like Bonanza. Dan Blocker appeared to be a gentle giant, and he will be remembered as such.

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  6. In a world filled with violence, I am glad we are still able to watch shows like Bonanza. Dan Blocker appeared to be a gentle giant, and he will be remembered as such.

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  7. Uma série muito legal. Deixou saudades.

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  8. Uma série muito legal. Deixou saudades.

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  9. I arrange my day around Bonanza's time schedule. So enjoyable honest and compassionate characters.

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  10. Dan Blocker as HOSS,ONE of my ALL TIME FAVORITES.RIP.

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