24 beautiful behind-the-scenes pictures from Bonanza

The Ponderosa was a fun place to work.

Image: The Everett Collection

As far as we can tell, Dan Blocker always had a smile on his face. The actor, best known for playing the big, lovable Hoss, was a joy to be around on set. We have the photos to prove it.

The Bonanza cast and crew were in good spirits, which we suppose you would have to be to work on a show for 14 seasons. Whether they were working on a studio lot or out in the desert, there's typically a grin under those cowboy hats.

Take a trip back to the Ponderosa with these revealing behind-the-scenes photographs from Bonanza.


Taking a plain to work

The Everett Collection

How did they haul all that stuff out to the desert for location shoots? With a little help from sponsor Chevrolet.


Horse play

The Everett Collection

Dan Block and Lorne Greene give Michael Landon a lift.


A real ham

The Everett Collection

Blocker shares a sandwich with Stanley Livingston of My Three Sons on the Desilu lot.


Lights, camera… wagon!

The Everett Collection

Under the bright lights, as if working in the desert wasn't hot enough.


Enjoying the Greene-ry

The Everett Collection

Bonanza was the first Western to film completely in color, which made scenery like this all the more splendid.

Baby on board

The Everett Collection

Greene does a little babysitting on set.


A rising Junior

The Everett Collection

Landon relaxes at home with his son Michael Landon Jr. in 1965.


Best supporting actor

The Everett Collection

Blocker poses with his costars from the unforgettable St. Patrick's Day episode "Hoss and the Leprechauns."


Technicolor, dream coat

The Everett Collection

Blocker shows his ponderous side in a publicity shot.


Raising crane

The Everett Collection

They had to get the camera high for this beautiful wide shots.

Wagon training

The Everett Collection

The Cartwright boys show off their whip on set.


Tables for two

The Everett Collection

Blocker and Landon between scenes in a saloon set.


Enjoying some kick-backs

The Everett Collection

Landon relaxes with a frosty mug.


Map to the stars

The Everett Collection

Landon, Greene, Pernell Roberts and Blocker ponder the map of the Ponderosa seen in the opening credits.


Boxing day

The Everett Collection

Blocker spars with Tor Johnson, the professional wrestler best known for Plan 9 from Outer Space.


Getting directions

The Everett Collection

Blocker and Greene take some cues from the script.

Taking a dip

The Everett Collection

Blocker chills in a pool in 1965.


Everyone present

The Everett Collection

The Cartwright boys exchange gifts for Christmas.


Hoop dreams

The Everett Collection

Greene gives a girl a Hula Hoop as Santa Claus.


Newlyweds

The Everett Collection

Landon cuddles with his second wife, Lynn Noe, shortly after they were married in 1963.


A howling good time

The Everett Collection

Greene hits the town with his wife, Nancy Deale.


Gun show

AP Photo

Australia's Tania Verstak, 1962's Miss International Beauty is given a lesson in western marksmanship by Greene during a visit to the set on August 12, 1963. Greene was the emcee of that year's edition of the beauty contest in Long Beach, California.


Italian import

AP Photo/David F. Smith

Italian actress Virna Lisi visits the western set at Paramount studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles, Oct. 23, 1965, where Bonanza is filmed. Miss Lisi was in Hollywood to co-star with Frank Sinatra in Assault on a Queen.

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