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- Who is your favorite Bonanza character?: Adam
- Location: Pinner, U.K
She made her acting debut in 1954 in the tv series Top Secret .
In 1956 she had a major break though when she acted on Broadway with Edward G Robinson in The Middle of the Night.
She was at the heart of the New York Golden Age of Television where plays attracted the likes of Humphrey Bogart and went out live each week.
Whilst studying at American Academy of Dramatic Arts she met the maverick film maker and actor John Cassavetes and with him opted for films that were oft beat, independent and quirky. Gena would take roles that were not as fulfilling to her but help finance her husband’s projects.
She relished tough roles and was nominated for her performance in A Woman Under the Influence in 1974 and again in 1980 for Gloria.
After John Cassavettes died in 1989. Gena continued to choose roles that where challenging and tackled tough subjects, her roles in The Betty Ford Story in 1987 and Face of a Stranger in 1991 won her an Emmy. She won her third in 2003 with Hysterical Blindness, following that a year later with the daytime Emmy for The Incredible Mrs Ritchie.
Her son Nick is a filmmaker and Gena worked with him in 1996 and worked with her daughter Zoe in 2007 on Broken English. Her other son Sam is also a filmmaker. All have followed the independent route.
She expressed her love of independent film making ‘ people in independent film have a passion. They’re not in it for the money.
Gena made one appearance in Bonanza as Regan Miller who caused heartbreak to Hoss as well as being only guest who brought Adam and Hoss to blows.
thanks Pam for cap
In an interview with Bonanza Gold Ms Rowlands recalled the great reputation BONANZA had both for the acting and how sought after a guest spot was. She relished playing a ‘bad lady’ remembering her scenes with Dan Blocker ‘a big guy and a wonderful actor’ . The show was sought after because ‘it was a very good cast … all had good reputations and I was aware of their work’ she added that everyone always had fun working on BONANZA.
Bonanza Gold April 2008
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