A place to discuss Pernell Roberts.
- A Ponderosa Pine
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- Who is your favorite Bonanza character?: ADAM!
- Location: Tennessee ~ G.R.I.T.S.
"I understood completely why Pernell left [Bonanza]", she says. "Nobody else did. But if you really knew Pernell -- and I mean really knew him, his values and his background in acting -- then you would understand. He won the Shakespearean award in New York a couple of years...and so he was a very, very serious, fine actor and to come on a Western and go 'yeah, Pa' and 'no, Pa' and 'they went thataway' wasn't enough for him....Pernell took it [acting] very seriously, and he didn't enjoy that kind of acting. He loved being an actor -- a real actor. There wasn't a challenge for him, and he was bored to death. He knew he made a mistake in accepting the part in the first place and wanted out, but the office wouldn't have any part of it. Pernell wanted to make BONANZA a better show acting-wise, production-wise, theatrically speaking, but the show was successful, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Pernell didn't really feel it was broken; he just felt he would like to have a little bit of input....
They didn't try to find another Adam, because they knew they couldn't replace Pernell. I mean, who could replace Pernell? He had by far the most fan mail; he got tons of it. They knew that there wasn't anybody who could just come in and be Adam....
There was never a problem between the stars. Never! The other three were happy that Pernell was leaving because that's what Pernell wanted to do, not because they wanted him to leave -- although they couldn't understand why anybody would not enjoy getting all that money for what they did. But Pernell wasn't in it for the money; it was the acting that he dearly loved, and he just wanted to do the best he could. Money didn't mean squat to him, but the others thought he must be nuts to give up the fame and fortune because of style. But he was a man of principles and still is to this day. Has been and always will be -- a principled human being -- and money, prestige and fame were not his cup of tea....How many people would walk away from all that money and all that notoriety for the principle of the thing? Name a few. I can't. But the stars always got along, even after Pernell left."
Then Betty goes on to tell the story of Michael Landon and Pernell just happening to run into each other on the set of "Trapper John, M.D." and how "they hugged and embraced and were so happy to see each other....The two of them sat down and had a nice long visit....They spent a great deal of time just laughing and talking and having a big time."
(Tomorrow Peter Breck has his say!)
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