Check Out Who Played Candy On Bonanza
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Check Out Who Played Candy On Bonanza

Are you familiar with the cast of Bonanza? We’ll check out in this post who played the role of “Candy” Canaday in Bonanza.

The series Bonanza is the second-longest-running western, lasting through 14 seasons with 431 episodes. Hence, it is not shocking that actors came, stayed, and left. For example, actors like Pernell Roberts, Guy Williams, and Dan Blocker didn’t remain until the program’s finale.

Actors leave television shows for different reasons, especially when the show has lasted for many years. Although fans find it heartbreaking when a cast member they love or relate to leaves a show, situations like this are sometimes unavoidable.

However, one character in Bonanza was noticeably missing on the show after a few seasons, resurfacing again after about two seasons.

Candy wasn’t the biggest or most loved actor in Bonanza. However, he made quite the impression, at least enough for viewers to notice his absence and return to the show.

Let’s check out who played the role of Candy in the Bonanza series.

Who Played Candy on Bonanza?

The singer and actor David Canary played the role of “Candy” Canaday in the Bonanza. The actor (who died at the age of 77) was on the show from 1967 to 1970, then returning in the show’s final season. 

Bonanza- What Was It About?

The show shares the different experiences and adventures of the fictional Cartwright family. Ben Cartwright was the head of the family and the father to the three Cartwright brothers (Adams, Eric/Hoss, and Joseph/Little Joe).

Adam was the first son of the Cartwright clan and an architect who built the family’s house on the ranch. The second son was Eric, also known as Hoss. Hoss was the loveable, accommodating, and oafish brother. Little Joe is the last of the Cartwright boys, and he was known for his impulsiveness.

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Ben Cartwright, the head of the family, had been widowed three times, and he had his sons with each of his wives. The Cartwright family lived on their large ranch, called Ponderosa, located in Nevada at the Shore of Lake Tahoe.

The closest town to the Ponderosa was Virginia City. For the Cartwright family, visiting Virginia City was usually to meet Sheriff Roy Coffee or his deputy.

Bonanza wasn’t your regular Western. It didn’t focus on the usual “outlaw, lawman, gunslingers and gunfighters” concept. The show focused on the Cartwright brothers, including their different personalities, how they managed their differences, how they took care of each other and those around them.

They also focused on their business-producing livestock and timber. The show was all-encompassing, dealing with social issues, racism, drug abuse, adoption, domestic violence, and many more.

Candy In Bonanza

Candy was a soldier and the foreman of the Ponderosa. He is the spirited soldier turned Ponderosa foreman and Cartwright’s confidant. Candy became so close to the family that they could tell him almost anything.

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He was like family to the Cartwrights, and on more than one occasion, he put himself in harm’s way to protect them. He was also the timbre Vessel Captain.

Candy joined Bonanza in its 9th season in an episode entitled “Sense of Duty.” He was on the show for two seasons before leaving and returning in season fourteen.

David Canary Before And After Bonanza

Before Bonanza, David Canary was already a famous face in the film industry. He had featured on The Young Doctors and Peyton Place. Canary was also working as a stage actor and had featured in some Broadway plays. His role in Hombre with Paul Newman was terrific; so spectacular that it got him a part on Bonanza.

He left Bonanza after his second season on the show because of some contractual issues. He wanted a salary raise, and the production wasn’t particularly open to the idea.

After he left Bonanza, he went into production for a short period, but it was unsuccessful. Just before Dan Blocker died, Michael Landon had reached out to Canary to return to the show. He agreed to come back if they paid him a bigger salary, which they did.

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After Bonanza, he got busy starring in TV shows and movies. He won five Emmys for his double role as the twins Stuart and Adam Chandler in All my children. In 1999, he hosted the show Bonanza Extravaganza.

Canary died in November 2015 at the age of 77 from natural causes.

The Other Cast Members On Bonanza

The show had many regular cast members. Some came and stayed until the end, while others didn’t, for different reasons. Aside from David Canary who played the role of Candy, let’s check out some of the regular cast members in Bonanza:

Lorne Greene: Greene played the three times widowed head of the Cartwright family, Ben Cartwright. At the show’s beginning, there were episodes where he remembered his time with each of his dead wives.

The story of Greene losing all his wives and raising his sons as a single father may seem moving for many. However, it depicts a typical Western pattern where the characters display love and romance but hardly ended up in marriage.

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The Cartwright had women in their lives, but every time things got serious, the woman either left with somebody else, died from an illness, or got killed.

Greene, who was 43 when he joined the cast of Bonanza, was in almost all the episodes of the program. He was in 417 of the 431 chapters, to be exact. It was funny that Greene was just 17 years older than two of the three actors that played his sons.

Ben Cartwright was television’s number two favorite dads, according to a 2007 survey by TV guide.

Pernell Robert: Robert played Adam Cartwright, the oldest Cartwright son, architect, and the builder of the family’s ranch house. Robert wasn’t comfortable with the “follow the crowd” pattern many television series had. He was also uncomfortable with how his character, a 30+ man, had to seek his father’s approval for everything.

Robert didn’t stay on the show until the final season. He left even though the show was successful. He was in 202 episodes before he went back to doing stage plays.

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They tried to replace Adam with Will Cartwright, a distant cousin, but that didn’t work out as planned. Therefore, the production decided to write a storyline that reduced Adam’s appearance on the show. Robert stayed an extra year on the show, so the production had time to revise the script and plan a proper exit for him.

Michael Landon objected to the addition of a new Cartwright on Bonanza, although this didn’t last. The storyline showed that Adam went off to sea and later moved to Australia. After the death of Blocker, the production considered bringing Robert back on the show, but that didn’t happen.

Dan Blocker: Dan Blocker weighed about 320 pounds when he got the Eric “Hoss” Cartwright role. The nickname Hoss was from his mother and uncle, used to refer to his size and personality (he was big and sweet).

In one of the flashback episodes, we see his Swedish mother name him Eric after her father. She and Ben Cartwright decided to let him carry the name Eric while his nickname Hoss remains.

Blocker died unexpectedly from a post-op embolism in May 1972. It was a dark period for the cast and crew of Bonanza. The production felt nobody could successfully replace Blocker as Hoss.

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Hence, they decided to kill the character Eric “Hoss” Cartwright. It was the first time that production willingly killed a male main character. Viewers didn’t find out about Hoss’ death until the Bonanza movie, where they said he died trying to save a drowning woman. This end was befitting of Hoss Cartwright because he was a selfless person.

Michael Landon: Landon played Joseph “Little Joe” Cartwright, the son of the French mother. Landon didn’t stick to acting alone on Bonanza. He started working on his directing and writing skills with the show. The first episode he directed was “The Gamble.”

He developed his directing and writing skills on the set. Soon, he was writing episodes for Bonanza and directing. There are speculations that Landon became more challenging to work with as the seasons progressed. Landon didn’t appear in only 14 episodes from season one to fourteen.

Mitchel Vogel: After Canary left the show for the first time, the production decided to do something about the fact that most people were aging. Hence, they looked for a way to bring in a younger person who’ll be on the receiving end of Ben Cartwright’s wisdom and advice.

They brought in Mitch Vogel, a fourteen-year-old red-haired boy, to play the orphaned Jamie Hunter. Ben Cartwright adopted him later in the series. Vogel appeared first in the episode entitled “A Matter of Faith.” The episode where he was adopted was entitled “A Home for Jamie.”

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The Bonanza was long and successful, and almost everyone who was on the show, whether known or not, got a lot of recognition for their roles. Candy gave David Canary’s career a boost, even with his almost two-year absence on the show.

We’re able to check out in this post who played the role of Candy in the Bonanza. If you are looking for great western books, check out these authors.

1 Comment

  1. Sarah DAlessio

    Bonanza is one of the best western series ever. So many interesting stories that I watched with my father as a young girl and continue to watch and enjoy at the age of 72. Every character showed up in his best form! And I always enjoyed seeing so many talented background actors throughout the series. Bravo Ben Cartwright — you had so much good in you, and taught your boys well! I hope Bonanza never ever goes off the air!

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