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Actor William Devane’s Net Worth, Wife, Son Death, Age – Bio



• William Devane is an American theatre, television, and movie actor.
• He is well-known for his roles as Greg Sumner in “Knots Landing,” and James Heller in “24.”
• He made his debut as a movie actor in 1967 and his debut television role was in an episode of “N.Y.P.D.”
• He is estimated to have a net worth of $6 million and is 5 ft 10 ins tall.
• He has been married to his wife, Eugenie, for 59 years and has two sons.

William Devane is a retired American theatre, television and movie actor, who became widely known for playing the character of Greg Sumner on CBS’ primetime soap “Knots Landing,” as James Heller in Fox’s drama series “24,” and his portrayal of US President John F. Kennedy and US Senator Robert F. Kennedy in TV and movies because of his “Kennedyesque” looks.

Early life and family

William Joseph Devane was born on 5 September 1939, in Albany, New York State, to father Joseph Devane of Irish descent, and a mother whose name hasn’t been revealed but of German and Dutch ancestry. His father was said to be the chauffeur of the 32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt when he was still the governor of New York, and his mother was said to be a bar owner. Not much other information is available on his life growing up, nor on his family.

Education background

He reportedly went to four high schools in four years in Albany, but there is no information about which one he matriculated from. Devane graduated in 1962 from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in Manhattan, New York City.


First steps

After high school, Devane went to New York and worked as a carpenter and electrician for Joseph Papp, who was a theatre director, producer, and founder of the New York Shakespeare Festival (NYSF), now known as Shakespeare in the Park. He begged Papp until he put him on the stage; he would watch George C. Scott’s performance and learned from him. William was in Papp Production’s Shakespearean plays in the public school circuit, and in 15 plays at NYSF. It was said that his first role was that of a porter in “Macbeth”, and he had his first speaking part in “The Merchant of Venice.”


In 1967, he played the role of the Robert Kennedy, or Robert Ken O’Dunk in the Off-Broadway play, “MacBird.” This was a satire sketch by Barbara Garson, and together with director/writer Roy Levine, made it into a full-length play that incorporated the 35th President John F. Kennedy’s assassination into the story of William Shakespeare’s tragedies, namely “Macbeth,” “Richard III,” and “Hamlet.” It premiered on 22 February 1967 just four years after Kennedy’s assassination, at The Village Gate theatre, believed to be the only one willing to stage the play. The highly successful but controversial play closed after 386 performances on 21 January 1968.

He made his debut as a movie actor in 1967 with “In the Country,” which was written and directed by Robert Kramer.

His debut on television was in an episode of ABC’s crime drama series “N.Y.P.D.” which featured stories based on actual cases of the New York City Police Department, and he appeared in two more episodes between 1967 and 1969. Devane made his Broadway debut in 1969 in Lyle Kessler’s “The Watering Place,” but it was unsuccessful and had to close after just one performance.

It was after “MacBird” and while he was doing plays at the Shakespeare Festival when the actor Warren Beatty and director/screenwriter Robert Altman came and cast him for the role of the lawyer, Clement Samuels, in the revisionist western or anti-western movie, “McCabe & Mrs. Miller” (1971). The film was critically praised and was deemed ‘culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant’, so it was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry.


Further success


He played the character of Jock Fenner in the French-Italian comedy “Lady Liberty” in 1971, along with Sophia Loren who played the main lead. Susan Sarandon and Danny DeVito were also in the movie, which was shot in Rome and New York, but received negative reviews from critics. In 1976 Devane was cast for the role of the missing heir turned kidnapper in the last movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock, the comedy thriller, “Family Plot.” This movie that also starred Bruce Dern, Barbara Harris and Karen Black grossed $13.2 million against a $4.5 million budget. He also appeared in the suspense thriller, “Marathon Man,” in 1976 starring Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier. It was received well not just by the critics but also the viewing public with a gross of more than $28 million against a budget of $6.5 million.

“Rolling Thunder” in 1977 was an action thriller with Devane as the main lead, along with Tommy Lee Jones. It was very successful both commercially, grossing around $130 million against $5 million budget, and critically with favorable reviews. Other notable movies he made were the 2000 adventure film, “Space Cowboys,” with Tommy Lee Jones and Clint Eastwood; the 2000 sci-fi thriller, “Hollow Man,” with Kevin Bacon and Elisabeth Shue; and “The Dark Knight Rises” in 2012.

His last movie was in 2014 with a cameo role as Williams from NASA in the sci-fi dystopian movie, “Interstellar,” which starred Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine. With the production budget of $165 million, it grossed over $650 million worldwide, and Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 72% approval rating from more than 300 reviews, and a 74 out of 100 film score from 46 critics in Metacritic.


William made more than 45 movies and portrayed a variety of roles from 1967 to 2015.


William played the role of President John F. Kennedy, with Martin Sheen as the US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, in the made-for-TV documentary drama “The Missiles of October” in 1974. It was based on the book, “Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis,” by Robert Kennedy, in which he compared Barbara W. Tuchman’s “The Guns of August” (1962) book about the events leading to World War I to the Cuban Missile Crisis, between US and the Soviet Union with Cuba at the center of it, which came close to starting a global nuclear war, and how they averted it. Devane was praised for his portrayal of the president in this two-and-a-half hour production.

William landed the role of John Henry Faulk in the TV movie “Fear on Trial,” in 1975, based on the book of the same title that Faulk wrote in 1963. It was about his experience of being blacklisted in the 1950s on radio, because he was falsely accused as a Communist by the organization, AWARE, Inc; he filed a lawsuit against them and won. This helped end the period of blacklisting in Hollywood, promoted by the anti-communist hearings of Senator McCarthy. The CBS TV movie won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Special Program, and is performance was also recognized as he was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series.

“Knots Landing”

The CBS’ primetime soap, “Knots Landing,” was a spin-off from the 1978 CBS’ hit series, “Dallas” – the story revolved around four married couples residing in the fictitious Sea View Circle cul-de-sac in a suburb of Los Angeles.


It premiered on 27 December 1979, and William joined the soap as part of the main cast in season five (1983-1984) as Greg Sumner, a US Senator turned businessman, continuing until the end of its run in season 14 (1992-1993). His role as the male antagonist was supposed to be only for eight to ten episodes, but his character was well received and loved by the viewers, and he survived until the end. The soap opera had 14 seasons (1979-1993) with 344 episodes, and Devane was in 10 seasons with 269 episodes. The ratings of the series peaked in the fifth season around the time when he became part of the soap. The four-hour long miniseries, “Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac,” was released in two parts in May 1997, retaining most of its cast members including Devane, with the story starting four years after the soap opera ended.

He was also part of the reunion special, “Knots Landing Reunion: Together Again” in 2005, which had most of the original cast reminiscing about working on the show, and also featuring bloopers and out-takes from the series.


William was cast to play the role of US Secretary of Defense James Heller in this real-time action drama, “24,” which starred Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, an agent from the Counter-Terrorist Unit. The series premiered on 6 November 2001 and ran for eight seasons with 192 episodes, the last aired on 24 May 2010. It won the Golden Globe Award for Best Drama Series in 2004, and the Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series in 2006. Devane joined the series in season four, and was in 20 episodes (2005-2007). The TV series returned in 2014 as “24: Live another Day” which started four years after the events of the last episode of previous series. William now played President James Heller, and was in all 12 episodes of the series.

He portrayed a variety of characters in nearly 70 television series, specials and TV movies from 1967 to 2015.

Personal life

William and Eugenie had known each other for a year before deciding to marry in 1961 – they had two sons, but lost their eldest, Bill, in a car accident. Joshua, the youngest, is also an actor.

The couple has been together for 59 years, having lived for over 30 years on their ranch in Thermal in the Coachella Valley, near Palm Springs, California. It is a facility for polo players and trainers, and where polo matches are played and horses bred. According to Devane, the ranch is 140 acres, but they live on just five acres, not as the landlord but the developer. They have around 300 horses and 15 ranches all devoted to polo. They also have a homeowner’s association.

Interesting facts and rumors

  • William often changed his dialogue in his scenes in “Knots Landing,” and it was allowed by the creator and co-executive producer, David Jacobs, who was very supportive of his actors and would tell the writers to trust the actors’ instincts. However, this created conflict with the writers of the show. One time, the script that was handed to him had a note on top that said, ‘Not one word of this can be changed on the floor.’ According to him, he only changed the script to a point in order to give more depth to the character and scene, but he didn’t change the story. He actualy wrote a few episodes of the series.
  • He did not watch any episode of “Knots Landing” before he joined the soap. When he was asked in an interview if he’s a TV watcher, he said that he tries to watch only real things and added, ‘I like to watch real people in real situations because I learn from that.’
  • He has been a member of PGA West for about 30 years, and has often played golf for charities.
  • It was said in a New York Times article published in 1975 that William changed his name from Devaney to Devane.


William is 5ft 10ins (1.78m) tall. He has white hair and blue eyes.

Net worth

He is a successful movie, television and theatre actor, and according to sources, his estimated net worth is around $6 million.

Started with in April 2023. Previously, Executive Editor at Echoes Media. Holds a Journalism degree from New York University.

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About Alan Ritchson from Aquaman: Height, Weight, Net Worth



Who is Alan Ritchson?

American actor, singer-songwriter and model Alan Michael Ritchson, was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota USA, on 28 November 1982, making Sagittarius his zodiac sign. He’s had roles in close to 50 TV series and movies, but is probably known best for playing Raphael in the 2014 action adventure comedy movie “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, which Jonathan Liebesman directed, and which starred William Fichtner, Will Arnett and Megan Fox. It follows four mutated turtle warriors as they’re defending New York City from a kingpin, and the movie won one of its 12 award nominations.

Education and early life

Alan and his two brothers were raised in Grand Forks by their father David Ritchson who’s a retired US Air Force Chief Master Sergeant, and mother Vickie Ritchson who was a high school teacher.

Alan and his family moved to Rantoul, Illinois before he turned eight, and then to Niceville, Florida when he was 10. He was interested in both music and acting while attending Niceville High School, from which he matriculated in 2001; Alan was then offered a full music scholarship, but instead chose to enroll at Okaloosa Walton Community College (today Northwest Florida State College), graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2004.


Roles in TV series

Alan’s debut TV series role was voicing Chris in the 2006 episode “Save the Crane” of the animated family adventure “Wonder Pets!”, and his following role came in 2009, when cast to play a supporting character in the episode “Tying the… Not” of the comedy “Head Case”.

He gained recognition in 2010, when cast to star as Thad Castle in the hit sports comedy “Blue Mountain State”, created by Eric Falconer, and which also starred Darin Brooks and Chris Romano; it follows the lives of three aspiring football players who’ve just enrolled at college. Alan could then have been seen appearing in an episode of the comedy “Fred: The Show”, the crime action “Hawaii Five-0”, and the comedy “Don’t Talk in the Kitchen Presents”.

In 2017, Alan portrayed the lead character Arthur Bailey in all the 13 episodes of the action adventure comedy “Blood Drive”, created by James Roland, and which also starred Christina Ochoa and Thomas Dominique. Set in an alternate dystopian Earth in 1999, the series follows a former police officer who’s to take part in a death race, in which cars use human blood as fuel; the series was nominated for only a single award. Alan was then cast to make guest appearances in an episode of the crime comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, the action adventure “Supergirl”, and the action adventure “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”.

From 2018 through 2021, he portrayed Hank Hall in the critically acclaimed crime action adventure “Titans”, which Akiva Goldsman and Greg Berlanti created, and which today stars Brenton Thwaites, Anna Dop and Ryan Potter. It follows the lives of several young superheroes, the series has been airing since 2018, and has won four of its 17 award nominations.

Since 2022, Alan’s been starring as Jack Reacher in the crime action “Reacher”, which has been nominated for four awards.


Roles in movies

Alan’s debut film role was playing Army Officer in the 2006 drama “Though None Go with Me”, while some of his following appearances were in the 2006 horror thriller “The Butcher”, the 2007 drama “Steam”, and the 2008 animated action adventure “Justice League: The New Frontier”, in which he voiced Aquaman.

The year 2009 saw Alan play Bruce in the popular sports comedy “Fired Up!”, which Will Gluck wrote and directed, and which starred Sarah Roemer, Nicholas D’Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen. It follows the lives of two teenagers who’ve chosen to attend a cheerleader camp instead of football camp – the film won only a single award.

Alan’s following notable performance was playing Gloss in the critically acclaimed 2013 action science fiction adventure “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, which Francis Lawrence directed, and which starred Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence. It follows Peeta Mellark and Katniss Everdeen who’ve just won the 74th Hunger Games, and have thus become targets of the Capitol; the movie won 22 of its 90 award nominations. A couple of Alan’s following roles were in the 2014 short comedy “Alpha Chow”, and in 2015 the comedy “The Wedding Ringer” and the action science fiction comedy “Lazer Team”.

The year 2019 saw him play the lead character Shayne in the romantic fantasy “Above the Shadows”, written and directed by Claudia Myers, and which also starred Olivia Thirlby and Jim Gaffigan. The movie follows a young woman who’s begun fading, and can now be seen by only a single man; the movie won six of its eight award nominations.

Alan’s since appeared in three more movies: the 2019 comedy “The Turkey Bowl”, the 2020 fantasy horror thriller “Ghosts of War”, and the 2021 action thriller comedy “Dark Web: Cicada 3301”.

Other credits

Alan produced and directed both the 2017 short family adventure movie “Tree House Time Machine”, and the 2021 action thriller comedy movie “Dark Web: Cicada 3301”; he’s also the producer and director of the upcoming horror film “Bad Seeds of Loving Spring”.

Some of his recent talk-show appearances have been in “The Talk”, “Celebrity Page” and “All About”.


Awards and nominations

Alan won a 2015 Austin Comedy Short Film Festival Award for Best Ensemble Cast, for his and his colleagues’ performance in “The Grenade”, a 2017 Best Shorts Competition Award of Merit, for “Tree House Time Machine” and a 2019 Pitch to Screen Film Award for Best Actor, for “Above the Shadows”.

Love life and marriage

Alan avoids sharing the details of his love life with the public, but it’s widely known that he and American screenwriter and producer Catherine Ritchson have been married since May 2006.

Catherine helped Alan produce the 2017 movie “Tree House Time Machine”, and has received special thanks for the 2006 episode “Save the Crane” of the animated family adventure series “Wonder Pets!” and three episodes of the 2019 comedy series “Spellagram”. She and Alan have three children together, but they’re keeping them away from the media’s attention, thus their names and birthdates haven’t been disclosed.

Alan’s yet to speak about other women whom he’s perhaps dated, he’s married to Catherine Ritchson as of April 2023, and they have three children together.

Interesting facts and hobbies

In 2022, Alan revealed that he’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

He’s a devout Catholic, and goes to church nearly every week.

Alan’s passionate about music, and released his debut (and so far only) album “This Is Next Time” in 2005; he once audition for the music show “American Idol”, but was rejected.

He was featured in a Russian commercial for Orbit gum.

Alan auditioned for the role of Thor in the Marvel Universe, which eventually went to Chris Hemsworth.

He tried alcohol for the first time at his 21st birthday, having a glass of wine with his parents.

Both of Alan’s parents served in the US Army, which is why he’s today a supporter of the charity organization Heart and Armor Foundation for Veterans’ Health.

Alan’s favorite actor is the late Heath Ledger, while some of his favorite movies include “A Knight’s Tale”, “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” and “The Dark Knight”.


Height, eyes and wealth

Alan’s age is 40. He has brown eyes and hair, is 6ft 3ins (1.91m) tall and weighs around 210lbs (95kgs).

Alan’s net worth’s been estimated at over $6 million, as of April 2023.

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What happened to Debra Winger? What is she doing now?



Who is Debra Winger?

American actress Debra Lynn Winger was born in Cleveland Heights, Ohio USA, on 16 May 1955, making Taurus her zodiac sign. She’s appeared in 48 TV series and movies, and is perhaps still known best for portraying the main character Emma Horton in the 1983 comedy movie “Terms of Endearment”, written and directed by James L. Brooks, and which also starred Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson. It follows Aurora who’s searching for the man of her dreams, and the movie won 32 of its 50 award nominations, including five Oscar wins, some of which for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

Debra’s still today active in the movie industry, and is currently working on several upcoming projects.

Education and early life

Debra was raised in Cleveland Heights by her mother Ruth (nee Felder) who was an office manager, and father Robert Winger who was a meat packer.

Debra spent a lot of time in Israel while growing up, volunteering on a kibbutz; she also said in an interview that she’d joined the Israel Defense Forces, but in 2008 denied her own statement. She was 18 when she returned to the US and was involved in a car crash, which left her blind and partially paralyzed for nearly a year; Debra was told she might never see again, and decided that if she were to recover, she would move to Los Angeles, California and pursue acting.

She studied at James Monroe High School, matriculating in 1973.


Roles in movies

Debra’s debut film role was playing Debbie, one of the main characters in the 1976 comedy “Slumber Party ‘57”, written and directed by William A. Levey, and which also starred Janet Wood and Noelle North; it follows six members of a high school female basketball team, who’ve organized a party during which they will speak about their first sexual encounter. The remainder of the ’70s saw Debra appear in the sports drama “Special Olympics” and the musical comedy “Thank God It’s Friday” both in 1978,  and the 1979 romantic comedy “French Postcards”.

She made an uncredited appearance in the evergreen 1982 adventure family science fiction “E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial”, and the same year saw her play the main character Paula Pokrifki in the hit romantic drama “An Officer a and a Gentleman”, which Taylor Hackford directed, and which also starred David Keith and Richard Gere. It follows a man who’s trying to graduate from the Navy Officer Candidate School, and the movie won nine of its 22 award nominations, including two Oscar wins for Best Music, Original Song and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Louis Gossett Jr). Debra could then have been seen appearing in the 1984 mystery thriller “Mike’s Murder”, the 1987 crime thriller “Black Widow”, and the 1988 crime thriller “Betrayed”.

Debra had a couple of film roles in the ‘90s – the most popular amongst these was perhaps the 1993 biographical romantic drama “Shadowlands”, in which she starred alongside Anthony Hopkins and Julian Fellowes, and which was directed by Richard Attenborough. It follows the life of Christian theologian C. S. Lewis, and the movie won seven of its 21 award nominations, including Oscar nominations for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Published and Best Actress in a Leading Role (Debra).

Some of Debra’s most notable performances in the 2000s were perhaps in the 2003 biographical sports drama “Radio”, the 2005 drama “Dawn Anna”, and the 2008 romantic drama “Rachel Getting Married”.

Her three most recent film roles have been in the 2017 romantic comedy “The Lovers”, the 2020 crime comedy “Kajillionaire”, and the 2021 drama “With/In: Volume 2”.


Roles in TV series

Debra’s debut TV series role was playing Drusilla, aka Wonder Girl in three episodes of the 1976 action fantasy adventure “Wonder Woman”, and the remainder of the decade saw her appear in single episodes of the comedy “Szysznyk”, the crime action “Police Woman”, and the drama “James at 16”.

She had no roles in TV series in the ‘80s, and her next came in 1992, when cast to play the title role in the episode “A Day With Debra” of the animated adventure comedy “Sesame Street”. Debra once again had no TV series roles for several years, until cast to play Principal Woodside in the 2010 episode “Boy on Fire” of the crime mystery “Law & Order”.

In the same year, she portrayed Frances Greer in seven episodes of the critically acclaimed drama “In Treatment”, created by Rodrigo Garcia and Hagai Levi, and which starred Gabriel Byrne, Uzo Aduba and Dianne Wiest. It follows a psychotherapist who’s begun seeing his old therapist, the series aired from 2008 through 2021, and won eight of its 61 award nominations.

From 2016 through 2020, Debra played Maggie Bennett in the popular western comedy “The Ranch”, created by Jim Patterson and Don Reo, and which also starred Ashton Kutcher, Sam Elliott and Grady Lee Richmond; the series follows a professional Football Player who’s returned home to help run the family ranch; the series won three of its eight award nominations.

Debra’s since appeared in two more TV series, playing Trish McSapphire in six episodes of the 2021 crime comedy “Ultra City Smiths”, and Ruth Corman in four episodes of the 2021 comedy “Mr. Corman”.

Other credits

Debra worked as a creative consultant on the 2010 documentary movie “GasLand”.

She produced the 2001 romantic comedy movie “Big Bad Love” and the 2012 biographical documentary film “Bel Borba Aqui”.

Some of Debra’s recent talk-show appearances have been in “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen”, “The Comedy Store” and “Hollywood Insider”.


Awards and nominations

Debra’s won five of her 33 award nominations, including her three Oscar nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 1983, 1984 and 1994, for her performance in “An Officer and a Gentleman”, “Terms of Endearment” and “Shadowlands”, respectively.

Some of her wins include a 1983 ShoWest Award for Female Star of the Year, a 1984 National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress, for “Terms of Endearment”, and a 1994 Tokyo International Film Festival Award for Best Actress, for “A Dangerous Woman”.

Love life and relationships

Debra’s married twice, and has been in several relationships.

She and American actor Andrew Rubin were in a relationship from 1977 through 1980, and she was then in a relationship with American politician Joseph Robert ‘Bob’ Kerrey from 1983 through 1985 – at that time, Bob was the governor of Nebraska. Debra then dated American actor Nick Nolte, who starred alongside her in the movies “Everybody Wins” and “Cannery Row”.

She married famous American actor and director Timothy Tarquin Hutton in a large ceremony in 1986, and Debra gave birth to their son Noah Hutton on 29 April 1987, but she and Timothy divorced in 1990.

Since 1996, she’s been married to her second husband, American actor, screenwriter and director Leslie Richard ‘Arliss’ Howard. Debra gave birth to their son Gideon Babe Ruth Howard on 15 June 1997, while Leslie also has a son with his former wife.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Debra was invited to portray the lead character in the 1981 action adventure movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, but declined, and the role went to Karen Allen, who starred alongside Harrison Ford in the movie which went on to become one of the highest grossing of all time. She was then also offered a starring role in the 1986 fantasy comedy movie “Peggy Sue Got Married”, but had to reject the offer because she had suffered an injury while cycling; the film also became a hit.


The main character in the 1987 romantic comedy movie “Broadcast News” was written specifically for Debra, however, she was pregnant and didn’t want to act; the character was thus portrayed by Holly Hunter, and she was nominated for an Oscar for her performance.

Her son Noah’s married to American actress, producer and director Taylor Hess.

Debra’s favorite actress is Bette Davis, while some of her favorite movies include “The Whales of August”, “A Piano for Mrs Cimino”, and “Right of Way”.

Height, eyes and wealth

Debra’s age is 67. Her eyes are blue and hair is brown, she’s 5ft 4ins (1.63m) tall and weighs around 120lbs (55kgs).

Debra’s net worth’s been estimated at over $8 million, as of April 2023.

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How Dan Blocker Became Hoss Cartwright: Cause Of Death



Who was Dan Blocker?

The late American actor and Korean War veteran Bobby Dan Davis Blocker, was born in De Kalb, Texas USA, on 10 December 1928, meaning that Sagittarius was his zodiac sign. He appeared in 43 TV series and movies, and is probably still remembered best for playing the lead character Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright in the critically acclaimed western series “Bonanza”, created by Fred Hamilton and David Dortort, and which also starred Michael Landon and Lorne Greene. The series follows the lives of ranchers Ben Cartwright and his sons, it aired from 1959 through 1973, and won nine of its 25 award nominations.

People fell in love with Dan’s character, and then began recognizing him as Hoss Cartwright rather than by his real name.

Education and early life

Dan and his sister Ora Virginia Blocker were raised in De Kalb by their mother Mary Arizona (nee Davis) and father Ora ‘Shack’ Blocker; Dan rarely spoke about his family in public, because he respected their privacy.

He wasn’t interested in acting while growing up, but was rather into playing football. Dan studied at Texas Military Institute, and upon matriculating in 1946 enrolled at Hardin-Simmons University on a football scholarship. Dan transferred to Sul Ross State Teacher’s College a year later, and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1950; he earned his Master’s degree in dramatic arts following his honorable discharge from the US Army.


Before acting

Dan financially supported himself by working as a bouncer and a rodeo performer while attending college.

He was drafted into the US Army upon graduation, completed his training at Folk Polk, and served as an infantry sergeant during the Korean War from December 1951 through August 1952; Dan was wounded in combat, and thus received a Purple Heart medal, and seven other medals, including the Combat Infantryman Badge, Korean War Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal.

Upon his return from Korea, Dan taught English language at a high school in 1953 and 1954, then taught drama at Eddy Elementary School; he and his wife moved to Los Angeles, California after Dan had won his first acting roles.

Roles in movies

Dan made his debut film appearance in the 1955 short crime comedy “Hook a Crook”, while some of his following roles were in the crime drama “The Girl in Black Stockings”, the western “Black Patch”, and the action crime adventure “Gunsight Ridge”, all released in 1957.

In 1959, he portrayed Oil Field Roughneck in the crime drama “The Young Captives”, directed by Irvin Kershner, and which starred Steven Marlo, Luana Patten and Tom Selden; it follows a psychopathic killer who’s holding a newlywed couple captive. In 1961, Dan made a cameo appearance as Hoss Cartwright in the family comedy “The Errand Boy”, and the year 1963 saw him portray Mr. Eckman in the musical comedy “Come Blow Your Horn”.

In 1968, he played Waldo Gronsky in the crime drama “Lady in Cement”, directed by Gordon Douglas, and which starred Frank Sinatra, Raquel Welch and Richard Conte; it follows detective Tony Rome who’s found a woman’s body while diving in the ocean.

Dan’s final three film roles were in the 1968 western “Something for a Lonely Man”, the 1970 western comedy “The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County”, and the historical family comedy “Swing Out, Sweet Land” in the same year.


Roles in TV series

Dan’s debut TV series role was playing Bartender in the 1957 episode “Grandfather Grandson” of the crime western “The Sheriff of Cochise”, and the remainder of the decade saw him appear in an episode of various series, including the action western “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon”, the western “Colt .45”, and the mystery comedy “The Thin Man”.

In 1958 and 1959, he portrayed Tiny Budinger in 15 episodes of the western “Cimarron City”, which starred George Montgomery, John Smith and Audrey Totter, and follows the lives of Sheriff Temple and city mayor Matthew Rockford.

Aside from “Bonanza!”, Dan had only a single TV series role in the ‘60s, portraying Horace Hewitt in the 1964 episode “The Hottest Game in Town” of the comedy “Valentine’s Day”.

His final three TV series roles were in an episode of the comedy “Pat Paulsen’s Half a Comedy Hour”, an episode of the musical “The Tim Conway Comedy Hour” and the episode “The Dan Blocker Show” of the comedy “The Red Skelton Hour”, all in 1970.

Other credits

Dan sang the song “Folsom Prison Blues” in a 1969 episode of the musical series “The Johnny Cash Show”, and the song “Ich bin der Hoss” in the 1971 episode “Bayernhalle in Munchen” of the game-show “Drei Mal Neun”.

He received special thanks (posthumously) for the 1973 crime comedy movie “The Long Goodbye”, which won two of its three award nominations.

Dan’s final talk-show appearances were in “V. I. P. – Schaukel”, “The Merv Griffin Show” and “Flip”.

Awards and nominations

Dan won a 1969 Bambi Award for TV Series International and a 1970 Western Heritage Bronze Wrangler Award for Fictional Television Drama, both for his performance in “Bonanza!”.


Love life and wife

Dan met non-celebrity American Dolphia Parker while they were both attending Sul Ross State University, and they married in 1952.

Dolphia gave birth to their twin daughters Debra Lee and Danna Lynn on 8 August 1954, and to their first son David Blocker on 4 May 1955; David’s today a movie producer. She gave birth to their second son Dennis Dirk Blocker on 31 July 1957, and he’s followed in his father’s footsteps and has become an actor, and is perhaps known best for portraying pilot Jerry Bragg in the war series “Baa Baa Black Sheep”, which aired from 1976 through 1978.

Dan didn’t speak about other women whom he’d dated, he was married to Dolphia Parker at the time of his death, and they had four children together.

Interesting facts and hobbies

The series “Bonanza” continued for one more season after Dan’s death, but was ‘by far the least popular season’.

He was a Free Methodist.

Dan was a liberal Democrat, and supported Pat Brown’s 1966 re-election campaign for governor of California.

He was a fan of performance cars, and was the owner of a 1965 Huffaker Genie MK10 and a 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle.

Dan’s mother, father and sister were buried next to him at Woodmen Cemetery in De Kalb, Texas.


Death, appearance and wealth

Dan was 43 when he died on 13 May 1972; he had suffered a pulmonary embolism which required gallbladder surgery, but a blood clot developed in his lung, causing his death. He had brown eyes and hair, was 6ft 4ins (1.93m) tall and weighed around 300lbs (140kgs).

Dan’s net worth, at the time of his death, was estimated at over $5 million.

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