NOTE: This was supposed to be published yesterday, but I had some computer problems...
The brilliant and super-cool Pernell Roberts died Sunday night at the age of 81. That news was just so depressing to me.
Bonanza is one of my favorite shows. EVER. At the age of five, I would wait expectantly for reruns to come on every afternoon at 4'clock. I watched it every afternoon without fail, until it was taken off the air when I was about twelve (okay, there was about a month when I was six, I wasn't allowed to watch it because my older brothers dressed up like cowboys and had me pretend to be a saloon girl and bring them ice water...um...yeah...). When it finally came out on DVD this past fall, I was ecstatic. I watched the entire first season within a week or so of getting it.
Bonanza is just such a part of my life.
Pernell Roberts was the one of the coolest people ever. And his Adam was pretty much the coolest character ever. (I say this in retrospect, because when I was five I was in love with Little Joe...and HE was the coolest character! I am such a dork...)
But, Pernell was so much more than Bonanza. So much more. You should check out C.K. Dexter Haven's post on Pernell. Really great!
Probably my favorite non-Bonanza role of Pernell was in an episode of Wild Wild West. He plays a brilliant Irish villain (one of the most memorable villains on a show that can boast about Dr. Loveless) with plans to start an Indian uprising and take over Canada (mainly just to spite Queen Victoria).
I watched it for the zillionth time right after I heard the news of Pernell's death, Monday night.
He's really just too amazing in it. He pulls off a crazy Irish accent, a crazy mustache, and attempts to pull off his crazy plans, and he makes it all believable.
Of course, even as an evil villain (and he's really a great villain), I instinctively like Pernell. He was just too darn likable. I mean even when he's having The Kid and Heyes beat up and shot at on Alias Smith and Jones...he's still likable. That's quite a feat.
Rest in peace Mr. Roberts...there would be a large gap in classic television without you...