Cast Named for New ‘Bonanza’ Movie
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Veteran Western actor John Ireland will play the new head of the Ponderosa Ranch in a two-hour television movie called ″Bonanza: The Next Generation,″ it was announced Wednesday.
Ireland, who starred in the final year of ″Rawhide,″ will play Jonathan Aaron Cartwright, the younger brother of Ben Cartwright. He comes to the ranch to take over after the death of his brother.
Lorne Greene, who played Ben Cartwright in the series that ran on NBC from 1959-73, died Sept. 11. He had been the only member of the original cast scheduled to appear in the movie.
His daughter, Gillian Greene, will appear in the film as will the son of Michael Landon, who played Little Joe.
John Amos, who starred in ″Roots″ and ″Good Times,″ will play Mr. Mack, the ranch cook who is strongly protective of the Cartwrights and the ranch.
Robert Fuller, who starred in ″Laramie,″ ″Wagon Train″ and ″Emergency,″ will star as Charley Poke, the ranch foreman.
Marianne Rogers plays Annabelle Cartwright, the widow of Little Joe, and the mother of Michael Landon Jr.’s character, Benj Cartwright. She is the wife of singer Kenny Rogers.
Josh Cartwright, the illegitimate son of Hoss, played by Brian A. Smith, comes to the Ponderosa in search of his true identity.
The movie goes into production Oct. 26 at the Ponderosa Ranch at Lake Tahoe and will be seen in first-run syndication in January-February 1988. Gaylord Productions hopes to make it a weekly series.