EXPIRED: 01/24/10 – Pernell Roberts, 81, was an original cast member of one of classic TV western, “Bonanza,” but he left the show at the height of it’s popularity after just 6 seasons.
Roberts played the eldest Cartwright son, Adam from 1959 til 1965. He left the show to act in films and resume a stage career that had brought him a 1955 Drama Desk Award for best actor in a production of “Macbeth.”
Success eluded him until he landed a series in 1979, as he portrayed the older version of a younger character from the series M*A*S*H* in the new TV medical drama “Trapper John, M.D.,” playing the title character, Dr. John McIntyre, for the show’s entire seven seasons.
In later years, he had guest roles in other shows and narrated documentaries. He retired in the late 1990s.