After 14 seasons and over 400 episodes on the Ponderosa, the Cartwright family held their last adventure. Bonanza, starring Lorne Greene as the patriarch of the Nevada ranching family, debuted on NBC in 1959. It took a different tone than most contemporary Westerns, focusing on the dynamics within the Cartwright clan and their community. A top-10 rated series for much of its run, Bonanza trails only Gunsmoke as the second-longest tenured Western in TV history. -A.D.
Today’s Birthdays: Josie Davis, Charles’s charge (40); Richard T. Jones, governor (41); Leslie H. Martinson, director (98); Ethel Merman, showwoman (d. 1984); Elliot Reid, character actor (93).