Thursday, January 28, 2010

Goodbye Pernell Roberts...

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...

5 comments:

Elisabeth said...

My brother learned how to tell time watching to see when it would be two o'clock, when Bonanza came on. Adam was the Cartwright who 'played detective' and solved the crimes nobody else could. And one of the all-time funniest episodes ever was 'A Knight To Remember' when everyone believed he was mad because he kept trying to tell them he'd seen a knight in armor!

Millie said...

That's so funny! I knew how to play poker by the age of six because of Bonanza (and other westerns).

Definitely. He was. I vividly remember many episodes like that.

Oh my gosh, I just barely remember that. I think I saw it last, when I was maybe seven...

C.K. Dexter Haven said...

The Bonanza episode "The Wooing of Abigail Jones" is a comedy masterpiece and my all-time favorite episode.

Pernell was a tremndous singer, too.

Anonymous said...

J'apprends tardivement le décès de P.Roberts qui malgré lui, est resté la figure d'Adam Cartwright à travers le monde. C'est un formidable acteur qui a été sous employé et mal employé. Le métier d'acteur est difficile et les rôles majeurs sont rares. Je pense que les personnes qui l'aimaient ont toujours attendu un miracle, un rôle qui aurait pu faire oublier le personnage de Bonanza, cela n' a pas eu lieu.Dommage pour lui et ses admirateurs.

Ghenhis Kann said...

Pernell Roberts the last of the group. I love Bonanza, few days ago I started watching again Bonanza. Not only I remember Adam Cartwrith also litle joe, hoss... By the way I like western movies

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