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Little Joe & Bonanza FAQ

Hoss and Little Joe

When did they show Bonanza the first time?
Bonanza first aired from September 12, 1959 to January 16, 1973.

How many seasons were there?
There were 14 seasons with 431 episodes (depends on how you count the two-hour episodes).

What are the Cartwrights' names?
The father is Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene), the oldest son is Adam Cartwright (Pernell Roberts), the middle son is Hoss Cartwright (Dan Blocker) and the youngest son is Joe Cartwright (Michael Landon).

What is the cook's name?
The Chinese cook is called Hop Sing. The actor was Victor Sen Yung.

What are the horses' names?
Little Joe's horse's name is Cochise. Ben's horse is Buck, Hoss's is Chub and Adam's horse is unofficially called Sport.

Who created the show?
Bonanza was created and produced by David Dortort.

Which seasons did Pernell Roberts appear in?
Pernell Roberts quit after the first six seasons.

I haven't seen the later seasons, were there any new characters?
New characters: ranch hand Candy (David Canary), teenager "Cartwright" Jamie (Mitch Vogel) and ex-con Griff (Tim Matheson).

How many wives did Ben have?
He had three wives: Elizabeth, Inger and Marie.

Does the Ponderosa Ranch exist?
The Ponderosa Ranch was situated in Incline Village, Nevada. It was used as a theme park and it was open to the public from 1967 to 2004. Not much filming was done at this ranch.

Who did Little Joe marry?
Joe married a woman named Alice Harper (Bonnie Bedelia), who moved to Virginia City with her brother. The brother left after spending all their money, but Alice stayed and fell in love with Joe. If you want to know more, watch the two-hour episode, Forever, from season 14.

What was the Cartwright's religious denomination on the show?
The Cartwrights' religion was never told clearly on the show. They might have been Protestants. Wendy from Behind the Wagon writes: "The Cartwrights are all purpose generic Protestant something or other. The show never said, and probably on purpose so as not to offend people. However, Lorne and Michael at least were Jewish in real life. I don't know about Dan and Pernell."

Did the boys ever go to school? If they didn't, how did they learn to read and write? If they did, where did they live during the terms? How many years did they spend at school?
The boys went to school in Virginia City. The town is not so far away from the ranch, so they could spend the nights at home. Adam went to continue his studies to Boston and lived there during the terms. Joe and Hoss probably quit school as soon as possible to help at the ranch.

What happened to Adam?
It was said that Adam had either gone to the sea, to Europe, to California or to east.

What was the color of Little Joe's horse?
Little Joe's horse Cochise was a black and white pinto.

What is Little Joe's middle name?
Little Joe's middle name is Francis.

Can you tell me some facts about Little Joe?

  • Real name: Joseph Francis Cartwright
  • Birthdate: October 31, 1842
  • Birthplace: The Ponderosa Ranch, Nevada
  • Height: 5 feet 11 inches (about 180 cm)
  • Weight: 132-165 pounds (about 60-75 kg)
  • Color of eyes: Hazel or green
  • Color of hair: Brown
  • Parents: Benjamin Cartwright and Marie De Marigny Cartwright
  • Brothers, sisters: Adam and Hoss
  • Married: Once, wife got killed
  • Children: None
  • Educated: The Virginia City School
  • Occupation: Cowboy
  • Hobbies: Girls, playing games
  • Special skills: Knows how to use a gun and an épée
  • Favorite food: Doesn't have a favorite, eats often sandwiches
  • Favorite drink: Whiskey
  • Favorite clothes: The green jacket
  • Likes: Girls, going to town
  • Dislikes: Haircuts
  • What animal would he be: A grizzly bear
  • Annoying habits: Putting feet on the settee, eating with the mouth open

Where can I get Bonanza episodes?
Try, Eileen's site or see if someone on Bonanza World's forum has other suggestions.

Where can I buy the Bonanza cds?
Wendy (see her site Behind the Wagon), who lives in the States, says: "Well I have no idea if these stores have the Ponderosa CD, though I suppose one could order it there, if one lacked all sense of shame which is why I use Dr Fox For 2016. LOL Some of the bigger stores are, BestBuy, Wherehouse, Virgin Records/Megastores, Rasputins, though Rasputins is a smaller chain I think."
If you can't get the cds from these stores, consider ordering them from the Internet. Try for example Ebay could have them, too, for a lower price.

Updated: Nov 27, 2007