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A place to discuss Dan Blocker.
- Posts: 86
- Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:08 am
- Who is your favorite Bonanza character?: Adam
- Location: Madison, Wisconsin
At college Blocker became interested in acting. When he graduated with a B.A. degree in speech and drama, he refused offers of professional careers in both football and boxing. He acted in summer stock in Boston and soon afterward was drafted for combat duty in Korea, where he served as an infantry sergeant with the Forty-fifth Division. In 1952 he returned to Sul Ross, where he earned an M.A. degree. There he married his college sweetheart, Dolphia Lee Parker, on August 25, 1952; they had four children. Blocker taught school in Sonora, Texas, and Carlsbad, New Mexico, before moving to California in 1956 to work on a Ph.D. degree at the University of California at Los Angeles. During this time he also worked as a substitute teacher at Glendale and began his career as a professional actor in Los Angeles. In 1959 he was cast in the role of "Hoss" Cartwright on the NBC network television production, "Bonanza," one of the longest-running and most popular TV series. Blocker was an enormously popular actor and successful businessman; he was co-owner of a nationwide chain of steak houses called Bonanza. He received the Texan of the Year Award in 1963 from the Texas Press Association,qv and in 1966 he served as honorary chairman of the Texas Cancer Crusade. He played the role of Hoss Cartwright for thirteen seasons on national television, until his death on May 13, 1972, from complications following an operation. The television series was terminated soon after his death. Blocker was buried in Woodmen Cemetery, DeKalb, Texas.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: San Antonio Express, May 15, 1972. Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.
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