Pernell Roberts dead at 81


Actor Pernell Roberts has died at age 81. He had been the last surviving cast member from the long-running TV series “Bonanza.”

Roberts played Adam Cartright, the eldest of three sons of patriarch Ben Cartright, played by Lorne Green, from the series debut in 1959 until he left at the height of its success in 1965. Roberts had expressed discontent with the subservient character of the adult son. The series continued on until 1973 on NBC.

Roberts went on to star in the title role of the “M*A*S*H” spin-off “Trapper John. M.D.” on CBS from 1979 to 1986.

His wife, Eleanor Criswell, told the Los Angeles Times that Roberts died of cancer Sunday (1/24) at their home in Malibu, CA.