Joined: 11 Oct 2010, 14:41

11 Oct 2010, 16:58 #1

I have only just read that David Dortort, the creator of The High Chaparral and Bonanza, died peacefully at home at the age of 93 on Sunday, September 5, 2010. He was a real pioneer in TV by insisting that ethnically correct Latino and Indian actors played the parts and the languages spoken were authentic. Many Indian and Latino actors got their first role in THC and went onto have careers in the business. He was also ahead of his time by portraying a mixed-cultural marriage between John Cannon and Victoria and he insisted to add that sense of authenticity that THC was filmed on location in Arizona. Quite some man.

Trail Boss
Joined: 01 Feb 2009, 02:33

02 Jul 2012, 11:25 #2

I too feel sorry that David Dortort passed on. He brought us some great western shows. My one regret is that he didn't handle the situation with Pernell Roberts better. Roberts was tiring of his role in Bonanza but offered to come back occasionally to guest star. Dortort rejected him and Bonanza made the same mistake as 'The Virginian' in practically pretending that the character did not exist after he left. Although Bonanza's ratings stayed high seemingly justifying Dortort's actions, even Mr Dortort regretted them and wished that he tried to better accomodate Roberts and keep the Adam character as part of the show. I always thought that the quality of Bonanza really fell after Roberts departure. But other than that miner criticism, I think that Dortort was a true pioneer of the television western, especially adult television westerns. I wonder if The Virginian would ever have gotten off of the ground without his pioneering work with Bonanza. RIP David.