Actor Dan Blocker

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on October 24, 2004

I would like to know about Dan Blocker on Bonanza. Did he die during the series?

—Bill M., Indiana

The lovable “Hoss” died May 13, 1972, leaving behind wife Dolphia and four children—twins Debra Lee and Danna Lynn, David (now a producer) and Dirk (an actor). The gentle giant, who packed 300 pounds on his 6-foot, 3-inch frame, weighed 14 pounds at birth and was reportedly the largest baby born in Bowie County, Texas. Blocker was part of the Bonanza cast from the show’s inception in 1959. Before shooting the 1972 season, he suffered from symptoms of gall bladder disease and underwent successful surgery. However, he developed a blood clot in his lung and died unexpectedly at 43.