Critics thought Pernell Roberts' injury was the ''last straw'' in his campaign to escape Bonanza
It's no secret that the actor wanted out of his contract, and critics thought the on-set accident was the icing on the cake.
It's no secret that the West was full of wild adventures, and actors certainly felt the aftermath of them. Of course, there were stunt doubles for some of the most dangerous activities — though some actors insisted on doing their own stunts — but even with basic stunts, actors would talk about the cuts and bruises they got on set.
Sometimes it was as little as a scrape or sore muscle; other times, it was sprains or broken bones. While filming an episode of Bonanza, Pernell Roberts injured his neck. According to an article in The Detroit Free Press in 1962, the accident happened while filming a chase scene in the San Fernando Valley.
Roberts' horse took a tumble, and he wasn't the only cast member that felt the aftermath of this accident. Dan Blocker was right behind him, and his horse also fell.
The article in the newspaper stated, "Roberts' horse stumbled in soft ground and fell. Blocker, following close behind, couldn't avoid the tangle and went down too. Roberts had painful but minor neck injuries. Blocker had a fractured left clavicle and a shoulder separation and will be in a cast for a month."
Although the two, who played Adam and Hoss Cartwright, were injured, filming continued. Producer David Dortort told The Detroit Free Press that scripts for the last three episodes of the season would be adjusted. "We hope Pernell will be alright to return to work in a few days," Dortort said. "As for Dan, we can probably write an excuse for him to appear on the show in his cast if he is sufficiently recovered from the accident."
Those were indeed not the words Pernell Roberts wanted to hear. As many fans know, the actor did not want to be involved with Bonanza after a few seasons, and he spoke out about wanting to end his contract.
He told NBC vice president Mort Werner, who was in charge of programming, that he wanted out entirely, even after signing a new contract. "I had to sign to get a raise. But now, after six years, I want out entirely," Roberts said.
We're sure the actor didn't get hurt on purpose, but many critics thought the accident was the "last straw" in his campaign to leave the show.
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Never saw him as Trapper tho I remember the show
It just shows such disrespect.