The last episode in which Dan Blocker played the role of Hoss Cartwright in the television series "Bonanza" was "One Ace Too Many" (episode 415).
In April of '72, just before shooting for the new fall season was to commence, Dan fell ill and went into the hospital for gall bladder surgery. The operation was a success, but during his recuperation period Dan developed a blood clot in his lung and died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 43.
Ironically, the season premier of "Bonanza" that year was to have been a two-part Michael Landon (Little Joe) script entitled "Forever" (episode 416) in which the character of Hoss was to be maried, only to lose his newfound love to a tragic death. Landon rewrote the show to acknowledge the passing of Hoss, and to made his own character of Little Joe the brother who was married only to become a widower a short time later.
In the episode "Forever" is only spoken of the death of Hoss. There is no Bonanza-episode in which Hoss Cartwright died. Well we see the grave of
Hoss, near the grave of the mother of Little Joe. Later, Ben too has been buried on this same spot near Lake Tahoe ("Bonanza: the Next Generation").
Nowadays you'll also find the grave of Little Joe on this same spot!
Graves of Hoss, Ben & Little Joe
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