Trapper John

Blog 2752 – 05.12.2023

Trapper John

Pernell Robert’s played Adam, Ben Cartwright’s eldest son for the first five seasons of the long running NBC hit western. He left the series over creative differences with the writers saying the relationships of grown sons to their father in the show were too adolescent. He wanted to play a more adult role and he got to do that later in Trapper John M.D. 1979 – 1986.

He was my favorite character on Bonanza, perhaps because I saw there was more to him than the small roles he was allowed to play. Pernell Robert’s, bio says he was active from 1949 – 2001 and that he died nine years later in 2010. As a child of the fifties and sixties and very much a TV addict Pernell Robert’s was a part of my extended family. In his personal life he was a life long activist participating in the Selma marches from Montgomery to Selma in 1965 and he pressured NBC to stop hiring white actors to play minority roles.

Today I pay tribute to Adam, the best of the Cartwright boys, to Trapper John M.D., and to Pernell Robert’s who chose to play more difficult roles both on and off the stage. Bravo, bravo, bravo.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White


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