Lorne Greene, Michael Landon and Dan Blocker bought a Malibu beach for millions and gave it away

The scenic Dan Blocker Beach sat unused for decades.

Image: AP Photo/Reed Saxon

Two million dollars is a lot of money. It was an especially impressive figure back in the mid-1960s, about $16.3 million in today's cash by inflation. Still, that hefty sum seems like a bargain for a stretch of oceanfront in Malibu. 

Around the time, the principal cast members of Bonanza were collecting around $10,000 per episode. Those paychecks stacked up over a 34-episode season. A family onscreen, the Cartwright actors were close off the clock, as well. Lorne Greene (Ben), Dan Blocker (Hoss) and Michael Landon (Little Joe) pooled their pennies and purchased a half-mile stretch of Corral State Beach. The south-facing strand was a prime piece of enviable real estate, no doubt, sitting between Malibu Bluffs Park and the town of Malibu proper. Like many stars, Blocker and Landon lived in Malibu. Today, a single home in the area can fetch upwards of $120 million dollars. Gulp.

Blocker died in 1972, as Bonanza was heading into its final season. With the friend and partner gone, Greene and Landon decided to donate their beach to the state in 1979. It was named Dan Blocker Beach in actor's honor. The costars intended the land to be used for public recreation.

Somehow, the beach would not open to the public until 2014.

The state held the beach until 1995, until it passed the property over to Los Angeles County. As it sat for two decades, the land became what the Malibu Times dubbed an "eyesore," with wild brush growing around dilapidated fencing. In 2011, LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky began cutting through red tape in a mission to get Dan Blocker Beach open and in shape before he left office. 

At last, in late 2014, the ribbon was cut at Dan Blocker Beach, which you can see in the image above. "It’s been a real privilege to undertake projects like this," Yaroslavsky told the Malibu Times at the ceremony.

David Blocker, son of Dan, was onhand. 

It may be miles from the Ponderosa, but just up the road, near Pepperdine University, you will find the Michael Landon Community Center.

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Tigatail 27 days ago
Bonanza was a mainstay in my house - forever ... plus my mom enjoyed the reruns in her last years. Just love it !
15inchBlackandWhite 28 days ago
Someone needs to fix the headline, it was Dan Blocker, not Don Blocker.
IKR! I thought he had a son named Don who went in with the two other actors for the memorial beach. Very confusing.
bsantaniello lsnorafan1 27 days ago
Sons name was Dirk also an actor.
ClarenceMYeates 28 days ago
Ich bin gemacht $ 84, 8254 so weit in diesem Jahr Online arbeiten und ich bin ein Vollzeit-student. Ich benutze eine online-Geschäftsmöglichkeit, von der ich gehört habe und ich bin so viel Geld verdient. Es ist wirklich benutzerfreundlich, und ich bin einfach nur froh, dass ich fand heraus, über es. Hier ist, was ich Tue. für weitere Informationen öffnen Sie einfach diesen link danke....www.online103.com
stephaniestavr5 29 days ago
Like most of the beaches in SoCal, that stretch of beach is probably closed. But folks might be able to drive up the road to see Michael's community center, then mosey on over to Pepperdine University, site of The Battle Of The Network Stars.
There is public access and parking, but you have to pay to park, according to this article:
http://www.malibutimes.com/news/article_c015d26a-7005-11e4-a81d-c73b9f48e34c.html
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