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Dan Blocker

Biography

Performed the role of the center brother, Hoss Cartwright, on the tv screen series Bonanza. He proved helpful as a trainer, instructor, rodeo performer, and bouncer before his performing profession. He was on the western Television series where his personality was thought to possess weighed fourteen pounds upon delivery. He wedded Dolphia Parker, as well as the couple acquired four children called Dirk, David, Debra and Danna. He starred on Bonanza with Michael Landon.

Quick Facts


Full Name Dan Blocker
Date Of Birth December 10, 1928
Died May 13, 1972, Los Angeles, California, United States
Place Of Birth De Kalb, TX
Height 1.93 m
Profession TV Actor
Education TMI — The Episcopal School of Texas, Hardin–Simmons University
Nationality American
Spouse Dolphia Parker
Children Dirk Blocker, David Blocker, Danna Lynn Blocker, Debra Lee Blocker
Parents Ora Shack Blocker, Mary David Blocker
Siblings Ora Virginia Blocker
Movies The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County, Something for a Lonely Man, Lady in Cement, Come Blow Your Horn, Outer Space Jitters, Bonanza Forever, Bonanza: The Movie, Ride the Wind
TV Shows Bonanza, The Restless Gun, Cimarron City
Star Sign Sagittarius

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1Until his death, he was friends with Robert Conrad. His son Dirk Blocker worked with Conrad in Black Sheep Squadron (1976).
2His great grandfather Michael Patrick Blocker (1829-1897) was a private soldier in Phelan's Company, Alabama Light Artillery during the War Between the States, as were two other Blocker boys. The Blocker family lived in the Tuscaloosa, AL area at the time.
3Weighing in at 14 lbs. at birth, Dan was the largest baby ever born in Bowie County, Texas.
4A 1960 "TV Guide" profile said that Blocker still wanted to finish his Ph.D., but in a 1965 interview with Austin, Texas talk show host Richard 'Cactus' Pryor, he said that he longer intended to complete his degree. At the time, Bonanza (1959) was coming off its first season as the #1 show in America, a title it would hold for the next two years as part of a then-unprecedented nine straight years in the Top 5. Blocker told Pryor that he worked five days a week from 7AM to 9PM. Since there were 34 episodes in the sixth season (1964-1965), there would have been little time to pursue his studies.
5Dan Blocker Beach is a one-mile stretch of the coastline in north Malibu, California, located at 26000 Pacific Coast Highway. It is maintained by the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors.
6Campaigned for Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 presidential campaign but later supported Eugene McCarthy, who ran against LBJ for the 1968 Democratic nomination due to McCarthy's opposition to the Vietnam War.
7Took his family on a summer vacation by car from Sonora, TX, to Hollywood and was discovered while making phone calls in a sidewalk phone booth and dressed in western garb, wearing heeled cowboy boots with spurs, a gaudy western shirt and a big straw cowboy hat. His wife and kids were sitting in the station wagon parked at the curb when he was noticed by an agent.
8Taught history in Sonora (TX) High School from 1953~58, appeared in a school play there where he played a bride at the altar. Sonora is located on I-10 in west Texas with a population of about 2000.
9He was an activist liberal Democrat and a staunch opponent of the Vietnam War.
10His weight was 14 lbs, at birth, on Monday, December 10th, 1928.
11Father was a poor Texas farmer who lost the farm after the Depression. His father later went into the grocery business.
12Was enrolled at the Texas Military Institute in San Antonio when he was 13 years old and weighed 200 lbs.
13Attended Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene and played football. After that he entered Sul-Ross State College on a football scholarship, and was an amateur boxer. While at Sul-Ross he not only won the 1949 Best College Acting award for his portrayal of De Lawd in a production of "Green Pastures," but met his future wife, Dolphia Lee Parker, originally from Alpine, Texas.
14Served in the Korean War, a first sergeant with the 45th Oklahoma Division.
15Former schoolteacher.
16Once was considered for a lead role in the movie MASH (1970).
17Hardly the romancer, one touching and acclaimed Bonanza (1959) episode had his Hoss character fall in love with a beautiful girl, played by Inger Stevens.
18Received his first taste of theater life at college when the drama club was performing "Arsenic and Old Lace", and needed someone to pack up the bodies from the cellar for the play's curtain call.
19With some repertory theater experience at the time, the Korean War interrupted his fledgling career. He instead returned to teaching school after his military discharge and went to work on his Ph.D at the University of Calfornia in Los Angeles. Finances were a problem at the time and it was then that he fell back into acting and found TV work.
20Taught high school in West Texas before becoming an actor.
21Best remembered by the public for his role as Hoss on Bonanza (1959).
22Blocker was approached to play Major "King" Kong in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) after Peter Sellers was injured. However, according to Terry Southern (co-writer), Blocker's agent rejected the script as being "too pinko".
23All of his children studied karate under Chuck Norris.
24Attended and played football for Sul Ross State College, Alpine, Texas, graduating in 1950.
25The Long Goodbye (1973) is dedicated to him. Robert Altman, who had directed many early episodes of Bonanza (1959), and had become friends with him, had originally cast him in the role of Roger Wade. However, Blocker died before filming commenced, so the role was subsequently filled by Sterling Hayden.
26Started and owned the Bonanza steak house restaurant chain.
27Interred at DeKalb Cemetery, DeKalb, Texas, USA.
28Father of identical twin daughters, Danna and Debra.
29Father of producer David Blocker and actor Dirk Blocker.
30O'Donnell is located in the panhandle of West Texas, about 40 miles south of Lubbock, Texas. There is a museum located in O'Donnell dedicated to Mr. Blocker.
31Had four children: Debra Lee (b. 1953), Danna Lynn (b. 1953), David Blocker (b. 1955), and Dirk Blocker (b. 1957).


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Bonanza1959-1972TV SeriesEric 'Hoss' Cartwright / Big Jack Slade
Swing Out, Sweet Land1970TV MovieIndian Who Sells Manhattan
The Red Skelton Hour1970TV SeriesLittle Willie
Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County1970Charley
Pat Paulsen's Half a Comedy Hour1970TV SeriesCollege Roomate
Something for a Lonely Man1968TV MovieJohn Killibrew
Lady in Cement1968Waldo Gronsky
I'll Bet1965TV Series
Come Blow Your Horn1963Mr. Eckman
The Bob Newhart Show1962TV Series
The Errand Boy1961Hoss Cartwright - Cameo (uncredited)
Troubleshooters1959TV Series
The Rebel1959TV SeriesDel Pierce
Cimarron City1958-1959TV SeriesTiny Budinger / Carl Budinger
Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse1959TV SeriesDuke
The Young Captives1959Oil Field Roughneck
The Restless Gun1957-1958TV SeriesOlaf Burland / Jub Buckstar / John 'El Bruto' / ...
The Rifleman1958TV SeriesPete Snipe
Maverick1958TV SeriesHognose M. Hughes
Zorro1958TV SeriesBlacksmith
Gunsmoke1956-1958TV SeriesKeller / Lieutenant
Jefferson Drum1958TV SeriesCraig
Decision1958TV SeriesSalem
Cheyenne1957-1958TV SeriesDeputy Sam / Pete
Playhouse 901956-1958TV SeriesLewis
The Thin Man1958TV SeriesRosie
Have Gun - Will Travel1958TV SeriesJoe - Thief No. 1
The Walter Winchell File1958TV SeriesPayload John
Richard Diamond, Private Detective1958TV SeriesCloudy Sims
Sugarfoot1958TV SeriesBosch
Wagon Train1958TV SeriesSgt. Broderick
Zane Grey Theater1958TV SeriesMatt
Outer Space Jitters1957ShortZombie (as Don Blocker)
Colt .451957TV SeriesWill
The Girl in Black Stockings1957Mike, the Bartender
Black Patch1957Blacksmith (uncredited)
Gunsight Ridge1957Bartender (uncredited)
Tales of Wells Fargo1957TV SeriesJoe Purdy
Sergeant Preston of the Yukon1957TV SeriesMule Conklin
Telephone Time1957TV Series
The Sheriff of Cochise1957TV SeriesBartender
Hook a Crook1955ShortGorilla (uncredited)

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Drei mal neun1971TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Johnny Cash Show1969TV Series performer - 1 episode

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Long Goodbye1973with special remembrance for

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Flip1972TV SeriesHimself
The Merv Griffin Show1971TV SeriesHimself
V.I.P.-Schaukel1971TV Series documentaryHimself
The Dean Martin Show1968-1971TV SeriesHimself
Drei mal neun1971TV SeriesHimself - Musician
Sesame Street1970-1971TV SeriesHimself
The Tim Conway Comedy Hour1970TV SeriesHimself
The Don Knotts Show1970TV SeriesHimself
Kraft Music Hall Presents: The Des O'Connor Show1970TV SeriesHimself
Laugh-In1970TV SeriesHimself - Guest Performer
The Johnny Cash Show1969TV SeriesHimself - Singer
Jack Benny's Birthday Special1969TV SpecialHimself
Rowan & Martin at the Movies1968Documentary shortHimself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1963-1968TV SeriesHimself - Guest / Himself
Chevrolet's Bewitching Bonanza1964ShortHimself
The Andy Williams Show1963TV SeriesHimself
Henry Fonda and the Family1962TV SpecialHimself
The New March of Dimes Presents: The Scene Stealers1962TV SpecialHimself
Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall1962TV Series
Here's Hollywood1960-1961TV SeriesHimself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Pioneers of Television2011TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself / Hoss Cartwright from Bonanza
Brilliant But Cancelled2002TV Movie documentary
Television: The First Fifty Years1999Video documentaryHoss Cartwright
Back to Bonanza1993TV MovieHoss Cartwright
TV: The Fabulous Fifties1978TV MovieHimself / Hoss Cartwright
Sesame Street1971-1975TV SeriesHimself
Pat Paulsen's Half a Comedy Hour1970TV SeriesRoommate

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1970Bronze WranglerWestern Heritage AwardsFictional Television DramaBonanza (1959)· David Dortort (director)
· Michael Landon (director/actor)
· Richard Collins (producer)
· Lorne Greene (actor)
· Ossie Davis (actor)
· Roy Jenson (actor)
· Harrison Page (actor)
· Barbara Parrio (actor)
· George Spell (actor)
· Jerry Summers (actor)
1969BambiBambi AwardsTV Series InternationalBonanza (1959)· Lorne Greene
· Michael Landon
· Pernell Roberts

TitleSalary
Bonanza (1959)$11,000 /week (1966)

#Quote
1I can lose five pounds by walking to the corner store.
2My daddy used to say that I was too big to ride and too little to hitch a wagon - no good for a damn thing.
3Fame frightens me; it truly does, perhaps because I wasn't expecting it. I feel like I have a tiger by the tail. I'm in this business for the money. I need money, like anyone else, because I want to give to my wife and kids a good home and a good life. It's what any man wants to do for his family. Hell, man, I'm just an ordinary guy.
4Being big has its advantages, especially when you're doing the rounds of the agents' offices. They don't forget you in a hurry. But it has its disadvantages, too. You've got to have a bed special made . . . mine is 7 feet long. You've got to be careful when you sit down. I used to wreck a couple of chairs a week in the studio. Weight is a problem with me. If I don't watch it, it shoots up to around 300 pounds. It bugs me having to go on a diet but there isn't any alternative. I remember breakfast when I ate a dozen eggs, two loaves of bread and drank two quarts of milk. Now I eat like a normal guy and I'm always hungry. If I had been a little guy I'd probably still be teaching school in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
5[advice his father gave him] "Son, the rate you're growing you're going to be one helluva big fella. If you use your size and strength properly it can be a wonderful thing for you. If you don't, Heaven help you. One day you'll start pushing some little guy around and he'll pull a gun and blow your brains out."


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