Mitch Vogel was no David Cassidy — and he didn't want to be

Even though he was acting on Bonanza when he was sixteen, he had no interest in being a teen idol.

The character of Jamie Cartwright is known to polarize fans. Born Jamie Hunter, Jamie was adopted by Ben, officially joining the Cartwright family. Some people loved Jamie, and some people felt that he couldn’t get off their television screen fast enough. Despite the severing effect Jamie had on fans, the character catapulted his actor, Mitch Vogel, into a small sort of fame that only teen idols could achieve. 

In an interview with the Star Tribune, Vogel spoke to his level of fame. He said, “I’m not really in it for that because I would hate to be like David Cassidy or somebody like that because that poor guy must be mobbed every place he goes and so many rumors are started about him.” Vogel, who was sixteen at the time of the interview, explained that the David Cassidy-level of stardom felt foreign to him, and he couldn’t picture himself being the subject of it. He said, “I couldn’t see, like ‘Mitch Vogel’s Love Life Revealed!’ or something like that.”

Mitch had achieved a minor level of stardom because of his role in Bonanza, and it did affect his adolescence to a degree. He said, “When Bonanza isn’t shooting I go back to regular school and to classes and stuff like that, Burbank High. Some of the kids, they don’t know how to take me, seeing me on TV.” He continued, “They just don’t want to accept the fact that I’m just a person. It gets kind of frustrating sometimes. You know, you walk by them in the hall and you hear this ‘groovy star’ stuff all the time.”

Still, while Vogel had no interest in being the next David Cassidy, he did admit that the level of celebrity may have its fair share of perks sometimes. He explained, “I wouldn’t mind being him for a day or so. But not all the time.”

Still, Vogel’s level of stardom allowed him to help provide for his family, as much of his earnings for Bonanza were designated to go into a trust fund for him, and then any earnings after that went towards helping his grandmother, mother, and sister. He said, My grandmother is too old to work and my sister is too young, and my mom just got out of the hospital a year ago and I’ve been buying the groceries. So I try to keep expenses down.”

Watch Bonanza on MeTV!

Monday - Saturday at 2 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


JohnnyWalker 3 months ago
I just watched an episode of Gunsmoke where he's on it as the son of a guy sentenced to hang...which is what led me to look him up...which led me here. I too wonder what he's up to now. I see he's 68 at present. Shame his career kind of ended after growing up. He was good...seemed to have talent.
Runeshaper 10 months ago
Sounds like a grounded and responsible young man.
Bapa1 10 months ago
Don't think he had to worry about being the next David Cassidy, or Shaun Cassidy or even Patrick Cassidy.
Zip 10 months ago
Seeing as how I don't really watch too much Bonanza, I only remember him as Johnny Johnson on a couple episodes of Little House on the Prairie. I liked his character. He had kind of a Huck Finn type of way about him.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?