The creator of ‘Bonanza’ only agreed to cast well-known actors if Marlon Brando said ‘Yes’ to star in the show

Bonanza had a full cast that helped the Western TV series launch to incredible success with a run of 14 seasons. However, NBC initially didn’t have a lot of faith in creator David Dortort to make the right decisions. As a result, they wanted him to cast well-known actors to attract the public. Dortort replied that he would only agree to his terms if Oscar winning actor Marlon Brando he himself agreed to star Bonanza.

‘Bonanza’ creator David Dortort had issues with NBC

L-R: Pernell Roberts, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker and Lorne Greene | Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images

According to David R. Greenland Bonanza: A Viewer’s Guide to the Television Legend, Dortort was initially very pleased with the idea of ​​having free rein to create what he wanted. He loved American history and wanted to delve into a Western narrative. However, NBC ran into opposition from the creator rather quickly.

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