spacer graphic
[Home][Bonanza Locations][Bonanza's Opening Scenes][Bonanza Forum][Bonanza Cast Bios][Bonanza Episode Guide][Links]
Navigation Bar
[Bonanza Calendar][Bonanza Lyrics][Horse Bios][Bonanza Gallery][Bonanza eCards]
Welcome to Bonanza: Scenery of the Ponderosa!
Cochise page divider
Cast Biographies
Stunt Doubles/Background Characters
     This page represents the stuntmen who would double for the main cast and guest stars over the series' run and also serve as extras.  Also included are other stuntmen who would work the show and a few of the female extras who are so frequently seen on the show.
Cochise page divider
     Bob Miles was born in Hollywood on September 11, 1927. He is the son of Robert and Frances Miles. His father was a stuntman, coordinator and actor who worked in Hollywood silents and talkies. He appeared in "Riders of the Plains" ( 1924 ), "The Water Hole" ( 1928 ), and "The Last Round-Up" ( 1934 ). His mother was a stuntwoman who founded the first stunt group in the motion picture business. They were known as the The Riding Stuntgirls of America.

     Stuntwomen Betty Danko and Aileen Goodwin co-founded the group with his mother. Bob joined the business at the age of 9 months. As a baby, he appeared in numerous silent films without screen credit. As a little boy, he did acting bits and horseback doubled child actors in vintage movies. Bob was stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington during the final year of World War II in 1945.

     In 1946, he started working as a stuntman for the movie studios in Hollywood and Los Angeles. In 1948, he was hired to work at RKO Pictures in Culver City. The studio was under the control of Howard Hughes at the time. Bob served as his driver from that point through 1951. A year prior, he met an aspiring young actress named Vera Ralston. They got married and she became Vera Miles. They bore two children; Debra was born in 1950 and Kelley was born in 1952. They divorced in 1954. In subsequent years, he married Andrea and finally, Yvette.

     In March of 1959, David Dortort hired him as stunt coordinator and stunt double for Michael Landon in "Bonanza". His job as stunt coordinator would be to hire the stuntmen who were needed to double actors on the show. He'd choreograph the fights and battle sequences for the series. As a stuntman, Bob would double actors he bore a physical resemblance to. At 5' 11-1/4", he would stand in for actors in the 5' 10" to 6' 2" height range.

     Bob taught Michael how to fight during the 1959-60 season and he would double Little Joe in bit parts. Michael could only do what the network and insurance company would allow him to do. He learned how to fight very quickly under Bob's instruction. By the 1960-61 season, Michael could do a complete fist fight without Bob standing in for him. But the insurance company wanted him not to do anything too dangerous in mind.

     In some shows, Michael could get away with doing a complete fight and in others, Bob would double him in the costume in bit parts. He did the falls, wild fights and horseback riding as Little Joe through the 1966-67 season. When the ninth season started production in 1967, Michael could do his fights on a weekly basis himself and Hal Burton was hired to double Joe in the other dangerous catagories that year.

     In 1967, the newcomer to the Ponderosa was Candy, played by David Canary Bob would double Candy in bit parts for fights, falls and horseback during the actor's three-year stay on the ranch. Just a few months after the 1970-71 season was in production, Bob left NBC and "Bonanza". He purchased a lot in Utah to build a home on and wanted to work freelance.

     In November of 1972, Bob returned to work on the series. "The Marriage of Theodora Duffy" was the last hurrah for 'Bonanza'. The series was cancelled by NBC when they were filming the episode. The wrap party was held after the final day's shooting and the booze was flowing everywhere. His post-Bonanza career had him working at the studios doing stunts and coordination in the 70's and 80's.

     Michael hired him for three episodes in "Little House" and he made a brief appearance in "Highway to Heaven" in 1985. Bob retired in the 1990's and was a lifetime member of the Stuntmen's Association of Motion Pictures. He enjoyed playing golf and boating in Utah. His memories of Michael are very fond and not for publication. Aside from doubling Little Joe, he was one of the best fightmen to work in the movie and television business. A lifelong smoker, Bob suffered from emphysema and died on April 12, 2007. His wife Yvette was at his bedside during his final moments of life and breath at their home in Parawan, Utah.

     Troy Melton was a frequently seen face on "Bonanza" at 6', with sandy blonde hair.  His first episode he appeared in was one's "The Newcomers" as Merrill, in an extra and stunt capacity role.  He would then stunt double James Coburn in one's "The Truckee Strip" on Stage 17, in bit parts, for most of the fight, pitted against Joe, doubled by lead stunt coordinator Bob Miles.  In four's "The Quest", Troy doubles actor Jim Beck for the whole fight, with the actor doing a few bit parts, along with Michael Landon doing 99% of his fight and is doubled in one bit part by Bob Miles, at Solitude Canyon, Lake Tahoe.  Troy and Mike go at it earlier in this show, in the bar fight they have, which is broke up by Adam and Hoss.

     Troy was in the following episodes; one's "The Newcomers", "The Truckee Strip", season three's "The Lonely House" and "Inger, My Love", season four's, "The Quest", season six's, "The Jonah" and "The Flannel-Mouth Gun", season seven's, "The Genius", season eight's, "Credit For A Kill" and "Amigo", season nine's, "Showdown At Tahoe", "Check Rein", and "In Defense Of Honor", season ten's, "Salute To Yesterday" and "Speak No Evil", eleven's, "A Darker Shadow", season twelve's, "El Jefe" and Winter Kill", and in season thirteen's, "Frenzy".

     Troy Melton was born on March 2, 1921 in Jackson, Tennessee. He migrated with his family to Los Angeles during the days of the Great Depression. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and after it was over, he returned to L.A. and got sporadic work as an actor, prior to starting his 40-year stunt career. It begun for him working in literally every Western television series, including "The Cisco Kid", doubling actor Duncan Renaldo in the Golden Age of the 50's. His career turned out to be very successful and blossomed well into the 60's and 70's. Troy was a familiar face on "Bonanza" and "Star Trek" but could be seen in "Little House on the Prairie" with Michael Landon.

     In addition to his film career, Troy enjoyed golf and restaurants. In October of 1962, he bought the Playboy Restaurant, which was located right next to Paramount on Melrose Ave. He always frequented his place and most of the Paramount employees did. One of his regular customers was Dan Blocker, who loved to wine and dine in the Playboy while he was working "Bonanza." Troy made a lot of money with the Playboy and after 26 years of ownership, he sold it for a very high sum to Paramount in 1988. Troy received $750,000 for the liquor license and the restaurant's real estate.

     Troy was one of the founding members of the Stuntmen's Association of Motion Pictures and was always concerned for the welfare of all the stuntmen he worked with in TV and motion pictures. Back in in those days, there were no benefits, little medical coverage and the stuntmen weren't highly respected by the studios. A pioneer in the stunt field, Troy was highly respected and admired by all those who knew him. On November 21, 1995, Melton succumbed to cancer at the age of 74 in Los Angeles. His legacy will live forever in his fine work he did in hundreds of TV shows and motion pictures for 40 years.
film reel imageVisit the IMDb for Troy Melton's filmography!

     Hal Burton was born on June 14, 1942. He was raised in Santa Monica, California. He has full, dark hair and stands at 5' 10". He started riding bulls and horses in the late 1950's while a teenager. He never thought he'd get a job on 'Bonanza', but fate had other plans. Hal knew all the stuntmen in and around Los Angeles, including those that worked 'Bonanza', including Bill Clark. He recommended Hal Burton to executive producer David Dortort, who hired him in July 1966.

     His first job was the 'Bonanza' episode entitled, "The Pursued", he worked on that month. Hal was doubled-carded as both extra and stuntman, so he'd play a townsman on the Western Street and on Stage 17. For the outdoor shots at Lone Pine, he rode backup on his horse, behind the other actors and stuntmen in the riding shots they filmed over six days.

     Hal bore a close resemblance to Michael Landon, who was very impressed with his work at Lone Pine. So impressed, in March of 1967, Michael held an audition at Paramount to hire a new stuntman and stand-in. Many young men stuntmen were there to get the job. Landon walked right up to Burton and hired him on the spot. He would spend the next six years doubling Little Joe on horseback in bit parts that were too dangerous for Landon to do himself. Horseback falls, saddle falls were part of the job, or any fall that posed a high danger risk for Michael Landon.

     It was also a matter of insurance regulations that are sanctioned with actors and what they are allowed to do in the way of stunts, so the stuntman is mandatory in this case. Hal could be seen in countless episodes playing a townsman or Ponderosa cowhand. He'd also double and stand-in for other actors who would come on the show, he bore a physical resemblance to those six years on 'Bonanza', doing falls and fist fights.

     In late 1973, Michael Landon and Hal Burton would reunite for nine years of working together on "Little House on the Prairie". They started with the pilot film in January 1974, with the same arrangement they had previously worked on 'Bonanza'. Once again, Hal would work in the way of stuntman and stand-in as Charles Ingalls those nine years. He wore the costume more than Landon did all those years while working on "Little House".

     Michael began directing 'Bonanza' episodes in 1968, so he would have Hal put the Joe costume on, while he was directing segments behind the camera for many shows, all in filmed bit parts. Michael would use the same arrangement for Hal Burton to double Charles when he was producing and directing "Little House" those nine years. Hal had no problem because he learned to imitate Michael perfectly during the 'Bonanza' years. The walk, gait and using the left side was something he had to do to make it look convincing while being filmed.

     Michael was no great horseman, where Hal is one of the greatest in the business. His incredible style of horseback riding where he doubles Joe and Charles is one key factor is telling him apart from Michael Landon on screen. Hal's facial resemblance is close to Michael's, but there is a slight obvious difference between the two men's appearances which is easy to distinguish when looking at all the camera shots.

     Michael and Hal remained close friends after "Little House" was over in 1983 and remained very busy in their own careers. In 1991, Michael was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas and Hal was devastated with the news and paid his respects with many of Michael's best friends, co-workers, and family at the services at Hillside that July. In his own life, Hal's been married to his wife, Debbie, for many years and they have two daughters that work in the business as professional hairstylists. The Burton's live northeast of Los Angeles, in peace and quiet, far from the noisy chaos of the big city. Hal still works doing horseback and stunts, something he'll never grow out of doing since he was 16-years-old.
film reel imageVisit the IMDb for Hal Burton's filmography!

     Bill Clark was born Earl William Clark in Alabama on February 11, 1919. He was hired to stunt double and stand-in for Dan Blocker and Lorne Greene. He was 6' 2" in height and had wavy, brown hair with a large build. Of course, he bore a physical resemblance to Dan and Lorne and did his job very well. Bill was great at doing horseback doubling, falls and fights in front of the cameras. He was there from the first day in 1959 and was a regular for 14 years on the series. He also served as an extra on the set and could be seen in the background in hundreds of episodes.

     In June of 1966, he recommended a young man named Hal Burton to David Dortort and Michael Landon to join the stunt crew. Hal and Bill were close friends and really enjoyed working on the show over the years. The next year, Michael hired Hal to be his new stuntman and that worked out fine. After the show was over in 1972, the cast and crew went separate ways to find new work.

     On June 7, 1973, Bill took his small plane out to go flying that day. His wife and Hal joined him and they flew south to Mexico. The plane developed serious problems and crash-landed in the Mexican desert. Hal and Bill's wife were alright and not badly hurt, but Bill was in serious condition. At the hospital, he was diagnosed with severe injuries to his spinal cord and died on the table at the age of 54. For anyone who remembers Bill Clark; he was a very nice guy and all those who liked and loved him, still miss him to this day.
film reel imageVisit the IMDb for Bill Clark's filmography!

     Bill Hickman did stunts in a small handful of shows such as "Rich Man, Poor Man", "Mirror of a Man", "The Search", "Lothario Larkin" and "The Prince".  He was burly and tall at 6' 3" with brown hair and would do the famous car chase with Steve McQueen in 1968's "Bullet".
film reel imageVisit the IMDb for Bill Hickman's filmography!

     Roy Jenson was born in 1927 and was a native of Canada.  At 6' 2" and very large and strong Roy became an actor and stuntman both.  He was in "The Magnificent Adah", "Silent Thunder", "The Brass Box","Five Sundowns To Sunup","The Wish", and "Forever".  He was a good friend of Steve McQueen and was in many of his films.  Roy Jenson died from cancer on April 24, 2007.  He was 80.
Visit the IMDb for Roy Jenson's filmography!

     Jerry Summers was a dark and handsome stuntman of Spanish descent who worked in 'Bonanza' episodes "The Jonah," "The Prince," "The Wish," and "The Deserter." He also was hired by David Dortort to be cast as a regular in 'The High Chaparral' and later worked with Clint Eastwood. A longtime smoker, he had triple heart bypass surgery in the early 2000's and later died of lung cancer on January 1, 2006. He resided in his Arroyo Grande home for many years until his death at the age of 74.
film reel imageVisit the IMDb for Jerry Summers' filmography!

      Robert Francis Hoy was born on April 3, 1927 in New York. He's been a stuntman, stunt coordinator and director in movies and television dating back to the 1940's. His height is 5' 9-1/2". He served in the U.S. Marines during World War II. Bob made numerous films with Audie Murphy and Alan Ladd. He's doubled many actors such as Charles Bronson, Tony Curtis, Robert Forster, Ross Martin, Telly Savalas, Tyrone Power, Jay Silverheels, Robert Vaughn, and David Janssen. One of his good friends was the late Charles McGraw, a veteran actor of film and television.

     To become an actor, Bob took acting classes at UCLA. He drifted into film and television in the 1950's. His first "Bonanza" episode he worked that year was "The Thunderhead Swindle". He was called back for "The Long Night", The Underdog", "The Search", "To Own the World", "The Flannel-Mouth Gun", "The Return", "Patchwork Man" and "The Prisoners".

     David Dortort hired him to portray Joe Butler in "The High Chaparral". When the series debuted in 1967, he rode into the hearts of millions of television viewers. Bob is still fondly remembered for his work in the series. He later appeared in the "Little House" episodes, "To See the World", "The Runaway Caboose" and "No Beast So Fierce".

     Bob is a founding member of the Stuntmen's Association of Motion Pictures and is a lifetime member. He holds the honor of being one of the most famous stuntmen in Hollywood and still works in the picture business. He lives in Southern California with his longtime wife, Kiva. He was a good friend of Michael Landon over the years and still remembers "Little Mike" with love and fondness in his heart. Bob died from cancer on February 8, 2010 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 82 and his wife Kiva was with him. To those who grew up in the 60's and 70's, he will always be remembered for his portrayal as Joe Butler in 'The High Chaparral.'
film reel imageVisit Bob Hoy's Website!
film reel imageVisit the IMDb for Bob Hoy's filmography!

     Jesse Wayne was also another stuntman who worked on the series.  He was on the set, during the shooting of "A Rose For Lotta", but didn't work on it, and after several episodes down the road, he would appear in over twenty episodes over Bonanza's fourteen year run.  He was a good buddy of Dan's, and whenever Jesse was hired for a donnybrook, Dan would yell, "I wanna fight Jesse!", putting Jesse's minute stature aside, who is 5' 4" and weighs 130 pounds.

     Jesse is best remembered as the juvenile youth in eight's "Napoleon's Children", who leaps off a tree limb and lands on a horsebacked Bill Clark (doubling Dan).  Jesse can also be seen in seven's "A Natural Wizard", doubling his good friend Eddie Hodges who jumps out of the cabin window, and also as one of the Morrisey gang members in seven's "Peace Officer" who is gunned down in the cabin by lawman Wes Dunn (Eric Fleming).  Jesse doubled Robert Doyle in eight's "A Real Nice, Friendly Little Town".

     Jesse can also be seen in seven's "The Reluctant Rebel" as the small gang member who fights Hoss and gets pinned between him and a wooden beam and passes out cold on the floor.  In "The Last Vote", he fights Hoss again in the street brawl.  The last episode Jesse performed stunts in was twelve's "The Trouble with Trouble", as the little cowboy who is fighting in the saloon, who gets thrown out the doors onto a pile of dirt, as Dan Blocker comes down the boardwalk to stop the fighting.  Jesse assisted director Richard Bartlett from 1965 to 1967.  He is a Charter-Lifetime member of the Stuntmen's Association of Motion Pictures.  Jesse's favorite seasons of "Bonanza" are the first eight years ( 1959-67 ).
film reel imageVisit the IMDb for Jesse Wayne's filmography!

     Alex Sharp was born in Nebraska.  His year of birth is September of 1921.  He grew to a height of 6' 4" as a young man.  His talents include stunts, acting and writing.  He wrote some of the best comedies for the series.  This was brought about by Pernell Roberts, who had rightly complained about the poor quality of the show's scripts.  Michael Landon agreed on this and encouraged Alex to write them, too.

     In the fifth season, he wrote three comedy stories; "The Hayburner", "Ponderosa Matador", and "The Saga of Muley Jones".  Alex wrote two more for the sixth season, which were "Old Sheba" and "Hound Dog".  In the eighth season, he wrote "Ponderosa Explosion" and "Stage Door Johnnies" was his final comedy story for the ninth season.  His way of writing them was not typical of a writer; he'd go home, open a six-pack of beer and write them over the weekend.

     The youngest Cartwright also had a hand in this area.  Michael would look over the finished scripts and take to the network.  He'd plug the stories and NBC would buy them to film.  Pernell loved acting in the comedies Alex wrote, because he wrote very good dialogue for the characters.  One time in the early years, Alex watched Pernell ride his horse into the Western Street and exclaimed, "Someone get me God-damn stuntman to write me better lines!"

     His career prior to Bonanza, starting in 1948 with feature films, "Harpoon" (1948), "Easy Living" (1949), "Please Murder Me" (1956), "Young Guns Of Texas" (1962), "Law Of The Lawless" (1964), "Captains and Kings" (1976 mini-series), "The Magnificent, Magical Magnet Of Santa Mesa" (1977), "Telefon" (1977), and in "Little House: The Last Farewell" (1984).

     Alex was in numerous television series which include "Bat Masterson", "Batman", "Cannon", "Cheyenne", "Mr. Lucky" and "The Lone Ranger".  He served as James Arness' stunt double in "Gunsmoke" ( 1955-75 ).  He later worked in some episodes of 'Little House on the Prairie' which are, "Quarantine", "The High Cost of Being Right" ( 1977 ), "The Third Miracle" ( 1979 ), "A Faraway Cry" ( 1982 ), and "The Last Farewell" ( 1984 ).  He made a brief appearance as Phil in the 'Highway to Heaven' episode, "A Divine Madness" ( 1984 ).  He later did voice-overs in "Forced to Kill" ( 1993 ).

     Alex is seen performing stunts in the following episodes: "Breed of Violence", "The Rescue", "Elizabeth, My Love", "Inger, My Love", "Rich Man, Poor Man", "The Saga of Muley Jones", "The Scapegoat", "The Pursued", "The Arrival of Eddie", "In Defense of Honor", "A World Full of Cannibals", "Queen High", "A Ride in the Sun", "El Jefe", and "New Man".  Alex was very happy to attend the last three Bonanza Conventions in 1999, 2001, and 2002.

     Alex was a good friend of Michael Landon.  The two of them met in 1960 when Bob Miles called Alex to perform some stunts in the episode "Breed of Violence".  All three men went to play Sunday golf in sunny Los Angeles after the shoot was completed.  They were 70 yards from the sand trap, when he made a one dollar bet that Alex and Bob couldn't throw the golf ball in the sand trap.

     Bob and Alex refused because they were afraid they would throw their arm out of joint.  Michael told them he was going to throw it and the two backed away from him in disbelief.  He positioned himself like a javelin thrower and threw it 70 yards into the sand trap.  Both men were speechless as they watched the golf ball soar way up in the air.  When it landed in the sand trap, Michael turned to Alex and told him that he was the javelin champ at USC in 1955.  He had to walk all the way into the sand trap to retrieve the golf ball, so they could continue playing the game.

     Alex spoke of the fights he staged with Michael, "I did about a half-a dozen fights with him on "Bonanza" and he beat the hell out of me!" His fond memories of Michael's unique abilities were, "A Jewish boy from inner New York tapped into mid-America overnight.  No one else could do it but him."

     He was looking forward to working with Michael in his new "Us" series in 1991.  In March of that year, he'd written three scripts for the new series over a three week period.  But the bad news came a short time later into early April.  Michael had inoperable cancer of the pancreas.  Alex was devastated by Michael's illness and death at 54.  He attended the services for Michael that July, in honor and memory for one of his best friends, who had such a positive impact on his life and career. Alex died on March 6, 2008 from heart and stroke-related ailments. He was 86.

     Henry Wills was hired in May of 1961 to double Pernell Roberts.  His previous stunt double was Robert Herron, who appeared in a few shows the year before.  He wasn't interested in working the series as a regular.  Henry had been on the show the year before in season two's "The Savage".  He was born in Florence, Arizona on September 14, 1921.  His height was 6' feet and weight at 185 pounds.

     He'd double Adam in bit parts doing fist fights, falls and horseback stunts.  Pernell Roberts wasn't afraid of doing this dangerous work along with his acting.  But the insurance company was concerned for his safety.  A stuntman can be replaced, but an actor cannot.  He doubled Adam through the 1964-65 season and worked the majority of "Bonanza's" 14-year run.

     Henry also worked playing extra roles as different characters on the series.  David Dortort hired him to work in his new series, "The High Chaparral" in 1967.  He served as assistant director in one episode they filmed over the years.  The series was cancelled in 1971, after a four-year run that was successful.  David Dortort wanted to keep producing "Bonanza", so he ended its sister series that year.

     His pre-Bonanza career began in the late 1930's.  He worked in numerous low budget Western serials for Hollywood studios in a variety of uncredited acting roles.  Much of his work was to double actors on the set and location performing dangerous stunts in film.  Some of his earliest work was in the films, "Hawk of the Wilderness" ( 1938 ) and "Zorro's Fighting Legion" ( 1939 ).  His career in the 1940's was very productive and lucrative.  Before the decade was over, he appeared in Samson and Delilah ( 1949 ).

     During the 1950's and 60's, his career was still going pretty strong, with steady work in television series such as "Bonanza", "The High Chaparral" and many others in that era.  He stayed busy through the 70's doing stunts in TV series and movies.  Henry also served as writer, assistant director, second unit director and stunt gaffer.  He died of a heart attack in Los Angeles on September 15, 1994.
film reel imageVisit the IMDb for Henry Wills' filmography!

     Robert Herron was born on September 23, 1924 in Lomita, California. He enlisted in the Navy at the onset of World War II and became a champion boxer while in the service. He is 5' 10" in height. In his long stunt career, he's doubled actors he bore a physical resemblance to, such as Pernell Roberts, Ross Martin, Robert Conrad, Tony Randall, Ernest Borgnine and Jeffrey Hunter.

     Bob Miles called him in May of 1960 to double Pernell Roberts for some location shots in the horse corral for "Showdown". He came back a short time later to double Pernell again in the episode, "The Bride". The hotel fight has Bob Miles doubling Frank ( Adam West ) and Bob Herron doubling Adam ( Pernell Roberts ) in bit parts on stage 17.

     In 1963, Bob came back to double Ross Martin in bit parts for season four's "Little Man-Ten Feet Tall". The fight segments he and Ross Martin did at the climax of this episode, with the two heavies on the front porch, is still very memorable to this day. He doubled Martin in the TV series, "The Wild, Wild West", sometime later in the 60's.

     His first job working for "Star Trek" was in December of 1964. Desilu hired him to double Jeffrey Hunter ( Captain Pike ) in the rejected pilot film. Bob does bit parts as Captain Pike in the fight scenes at the Rigel Fortress. The first time he worked the television series was in the season one episode "Charlie X". He played crewman Sam, who is working out with Kirk in the ship's gym, and then Charlie ( Robert Walker, Jr. ), makes him disappear in front of Kirk's eyes.

     His second appearance was in the third season episode, "The Savage Curtain", shot in November of 1968. He played Kahless the Klingon, who set the pattern for the evil ways of his race. He enjoyed working with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy very much on the set. He said they were both very nice in person. Bob retired in 2005, after doing stunts for 55 years. He still attends meetings at the Stuntmen's Association and lives in Los Angeles.
film reel image><font face=Visit the IMDb for Robert Herron's filmography!

     Fred Carson was born in Texas in November of 1923 and would be one of the most commonly seen stuntmen in the world.  At 6' 4" and muscular, he began his career in pictures in the 40's and over the decades would double for John Carrol, Cesar Romero, Rod Cameron, Jeff Chandler, Michael Forest, Booth Coleman, Kelly Thordsen, Rory Calhoun, Rock Hudson, Marlon Brando, Clint Walker, Anthony Quinn, Clint Eastwood, Richard Boone, and his good friend Victor Mature, to name a few.

     Fred was assigned to the following episodes on 'Bonanza'. He was in "The Countess", "A Good Night's Rest", Ride The Wind", "The Pursued", "The Conquistadores", "The Gold Detector", and "Yonder Man". Fred passed away in 2001 at age 78, and his daughter Dixie keeps her father's legacy alive with a web site dedicated to him.
film reel image><font face=Visit the IMDb for Fred Carson's filmography!

     Richard Drown has been doing stunts since around 1970 in his late 20's.  He was hired to double as Jamie for actor Mitch Vogel doing stunts and as a lighting stand-in for him, the last three years of the show.  He has remained active in the business through the 90's doing stunts and serveing as stunt coordinator in many TV series and motion pictures.
film reel imageVisit the IMDb for Richard Drown's filmography!

     Cosmo Sardo was a Hollywood dress extra and former bartender.  His height was 5' 8".  He was the foremost and most frequently seen bartender on the series.  The cast would call him by name on the series.  He was dapper in appearance and easy to recognize.  The platinum hair, good posture and classy looks were some his famous assets of being a dress extra.  He rarely had a speaking part and wasn't given screen credit on the show.  He started working "Bonanza" in the 1960-61 season and would stay through the 1967-68 season of the series.
Visit the IMDb for Cosmo Sardo's filmography!

Cochise page divider
Bonanza's Extra Girls
     Betty Endicott was born in Sacramento, California and joined the show in its second year in 1960.  With her sultry looks, black hair usually in a pony tail and similar skin tone, she would be Pernell's lighting stand-in from seasons two through season six.  She would occasionally dress up in the black costume and they would film long shots of her riding as Adam on horseback.  Not over 5' 4" her measurements not quite in synch with Pernell's, she would "wobble" in the saddle a bit while riding his horse.

     She would be seen as an extra in literally every episode from season two through six.  She was most commonly seen as the black-haired saloon girl on the show.  Betty was a tomboy and grew up riding horses.  She would photo-double actresses who could not ride a horse or team with no problem.  She did simple stunts occasionally like doubling an actress and fall down the stairs for her with elbow pads, knee pads, a pad here and there, under the supervision of stunt coordinator Bob Miles.  She would also fall over boxes in some shows.  To make herself taller, in lots of shows, she would stand on a box, hidden from the cameras.

     When Pernell left the show on Washington's birthday of 1965, she accompanied him across the street to have lunch with him.  She made her last appearance in seven's "Devil On Her Shoulder" and than married actor Ron Hayes.  In 1974, Betty would be called on by Michael Landon to serve as an extra in "Little House" as one of the Walnut Grove townsfolk and would be featured in almost the entire run of the series through 1984.  Pernell Roberts also hired her as an extra in his series "Trapper John" from 1979 to 1986.  Betty made a special appearance at the first major Bonanza convention in September 1999.  Betty remained in California after she retired from the business in the 90's. She divorced actor Ron Hayes, who died from a fall in Malibu on October 1, 2004. He was 75. As a mother, Betty was close to her two daughters that she raised in the 60's and 70's. Betty Endicott died of natural causes on November 8, 2007. She will be missed.

     Martha Manor was born in Boston and made her way to the show by its second year in 1960.  At 5' 4" with her lovely looks and blonde hair she would be a lighting stand-in for Lorne, Dan, and Michael occasionally as well as an extra seen in hundreds of episodes as a saloon girl or townswoman.  She, like Betty would stand on a box hidden from the cameras to gain more height.  In the later years she would dye her hair red on and off.  Martha was also called on by Michael Landon to serve as an extra in "Little House", for the majority of its run alongside her good friend Betty Endicott.  She made a special appearance at the first Bonanza convention in September 1999.  Today, she is retired and lives in California.

Cast Bios:  Lorne Greene  Pernell Roberts  Dan Blocker  Michael Landon
Guy Williams   David Canary  Victor Sen Yung  Ray Teal  Bing Russell
Mitch Vogel  Lou Frizzell  Tim Matheson  Supporting Actors  Stunt Doubles
Home | Locations | Opening Scenes | Forum | Cast Bios | Episode Guide | Links
Calendar | Bonanza Lyrics | Horse Bios | Gallery | eCards
Photographs and content copyright ©2000-2013 RM & Bonanza: Scenery of the
Ponderosa, all rights reserved.