post Clothes Make the Man

February 3rd, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:49 pm

Vintage article from May 11, 1969

HOLLYWOOD – – Mark Slade got carried away with the title of his record album, “Mark Slade’s New Hat,” and decided to use the hat in “The High Chaparral” next season. Then he designed a new wardrobe and took the sketches to producer David Dortort who liked them enough to agree they helped establish the new adult character Mark, as Billy Blue, will have next season.

post Mark Slade Invites You to Meet the New Blue

February 3rd, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:48 pm

Mark Slade as Blue CannonVintage reprint article from 1969

The character I play on NB-TV’s High Chaparral series, “Billy Blue Cannon,” has been going through some growing pains and changes this season. I’d like to tell you a little bit about them – and about the new “Blue” you’ll be seeing this year!

“Billy Blue” has grown about five years from the way you remember him. He’s more mature now and he’s learned to face life squarely. He handles whatever problems come his way on a man-to-man basis, without running to anyone else for help and advice. Billy is his own man now. He has learned to work thing out by himself, instead of turning to “Big John” the way he used to.

As a result of his new maturity, Billy’s relationships with other members of the cast are more true-to-life. For instance, in a recent episode he said to Victoria (she’s his stepmother on the series), “Don’t lecture me!” Before Billy “grew up” he would always listen to advice from his elders.

Mark Slade as Blue CannonBilly’s changes have even extended to how he looks. He no longer has blond hair (it’s been darkened) and it’s longer and groovier looking now. He is wearing a new outfit too – that I designed just for the new TV “me”. All in all, I think the changes make “Billy Blue” more exciting than ever – don’t you?

Flash new on Mark Slade: Mark is currently completing his second Tetragrammation LP and it’s sure to be a smash! And – listen to this inside tidbit on Mark! – he was recently made grand Marshall of the Soapbox Derby in Akron, Ohio – Mark once entered the Derby himself as a young boy – guess the racing fever’s still in him.

post 600 High Chaparral Fans Subscribe

February 3rd, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:48 pm

The High Chaparral Newsletter reached a milestone of 600 subscribers in January. This is over a 30% increase from 500 in August 2009! The original list began with less than 150 subscribers three years ago – the steady increase shows HC fans world wide continue to be interested in the Cannon and Montoya families.

Thank you to all our loyal readers!

New editions of The High Chaparral Newsletter are delivered by email, then uploaded to the website archives when the next issue is mailed. By doing this our subscribers receive the news first. This means you can read the last issue online at the time the next issue is mailed – so you get a nice benefit by subscribing.

With almost three years of Newsletters we have a lot of High Chaparral information, so there’s a searchable index available – just type in whatever you’re looking for and see if there’s an article about it.

If you want the latest news about The High Chaparral, visit the subscription page on the website, or email and ask to be added to the mailing list.

post High Chaparral Toys

February 3rd, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:47 pm received an inquiry from a reader about about his collection of High Chaparral vintage toys, and we’re sharing the note and photos since the items and his question are interesting. If you have a favorite piece of memorabilia send a photo and the history to, and we’ll do our best to add it to a future newsletter. ~Editor

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2010!

I was wondering if you and the other High Chaparral fans might be able to identify the following toys that I have had in my personal collection for many years:

High Chaparral toy rifleOne is a rifle that has “Chaparral” and a picture of Buck Cannon (Cameron Mitchell with a mustache) and the other is a small revolver with a suede holster with “High Chaparral” printed on it. I got these through a toy magazine called “Toy Magazine.” It is no longer in publication and I’ve always treasured these items because I feel they are so rare. I have never seen these items since then in any antique store, toy magazine, collectible magazine, etc.

My feeling is that if the rifle it is “foreign” made and that for legal reasons, the manufacturer left of “High” and put a mustache on Cameron Mitchell to try and disguise him but in my opinion, it didn’t work! I recognize him right away! This was probably the only way they could make this item and get it on the market. I’m sure they did not contact Mr. Dortort and I’m sure he would not have given his permission had they done so!

Any thoughts from you would be appreciated. I hope you enjoy these photos.

High Adventure! High Chaparral!

Woody L. Irvin

High Chaparral toy rifle High Chaparral toy rifle

post Pernell Roberts Tribute on Getting to Know You

February 3rd, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:46 pm

Getting to Know You with Susan McCray will air a special Pernell Roberts tribute show on Tuesday, March 2 at 6:30 pm Pacific at 9:30 pm Eastern on

Susan covers the many facets of Pernell Roberts including his music. Kent McCray talks about his experiences and relationships with Pernell and shares stories, and there’s a comment from Bonanza’s Executive Producer and Creator David Dortort.

Play Cameron Mitchell recording Born of a Simple Woman Listen to the Getting to Know You promo for the Pernell Roberts Tribute

post Pernell Roberts, Last Cartwright, Passes January 21

February 3rd, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:46 pm Susan McCray

Last evening we received the news of Pernell Roberts’ passing at his home in Malibu, he was 81. His death came after a two year battle with pancreatic cancer, the disease which also took the life of his Bonanza co-star Michael Landon in 1991.

Pernell, portrayed the eldest brother,Adam Cartwright on Bonanza, for six out of the show’s 14 years. He found the role unfulfilling, and left the show at its peak, a decision that caused him to be scratched off by most of his contemporary fellow actors as some kind of nut

He had several complaints chief among which was the relationship between Ben Cartwright and his grown sons. “Isn’t it just a bit silly for three adult males to have to get father’s permission for everything they do? He frequently clashed with the show’s writers about the scripts, character development and other things and grew unhappy about artistic compromises

pernell robertsPernell loved the theater – most especially Shakespeare. He won a drama desk award as the best off broadway actor for his performance in Macbeth. On Broadway he appeared with Joanne Woodward in “The Lovers.” He longed to return to the stage after Bonanza.

After leaving Bonanza, he made guest appearances on tv shows such as The Big Valley, The Virginian, and also appeared on other leading series of the 70’s such as Hawaii 5-0 and Marcus Welby, MD. His comeback role on television was Dr. John McIntryre in the CBS drama Trapper John, MD – for which he earned an Emmy nomination for best dramatic actor in 1981. He retired in the late 1990’s. In several interviews he was quoted as saying; “I harbor no regrets about abandoning “Bonanza,” which he said he left “for my own good.”

After our friend Michael Landon passed away in 1991, Kent and I produced the NBC movie of the week: “Memories of Laughter and Love – A tribute to Michael Landon.” We wanted to use clips from shows in which Michael appeared.That being the case, we needed permission from the actors appearing in each show we used. Since some of those included Pernell Roberts. I called him and told him about the tribute show and asked his permission to use the clips. I didn’t know what to expect. He replied: “Susan, you can use anything you need to pay tribute to Mike.” I will always remember his kind words during our conversation.

Pernell RobertsI received an email this morning from Wendy Dortort Czarnecki, daughter of Bonanza’s creator, executive producer, David Dortort. She wrote: “It is especially sad to me because Pernell never reconciled his harsh feelings about his role with any of the legions of fans, even 50 years after the show’s inception, and particularly with my father, its creator and executive producer. Although Pernell Roberts abandond Bonanza, Bonanza fans have never abandoned him, and it is terribly sad that he would not permit himself to receive and appreciate their accolades”

My husband Kent, Bonanza Producer/Production Manager recalled: “In the three years I worked with Pernell – and we did over 100 shows together, I always tried to be honest with him and relate to him what his requirements would be for every episode of Bonanza. We got along very well. He once told me: “Kent I respect your thoughtfulness and honesty very much” Kent said: “He will surely be missed by all of his devoted fans.

Pernell outlived the other Cartwrights; Dan Blocker died in 1971, Lorne Greene in 1987, and Michael Landon in 1991. He is survived by his wife Eleanor Criswell. Services will be private.

Susan McCray

post Linda Cristal Birthday and Update

February 3rd, 2010

Filed under: Cast & Crew News,Interviews & Articles — admin @ 6:45 pm
Linda Cristalby Tina Sweet

Linda Cristal will be celebrating her birthday on Tuesday, February 23. If you would like to send best wishes to her on her birthday, please send these to me on or before Monday, February 15.

You can send email wishes to her to my personal email address at or if you would like to send her a card or write her note (or both), you can send to Linda at:

Linda Cristal
c/o Tina Sweet
368 Mary Gray Lane
Staunton, VA 24401

I will compile all email wishes and send them along with all cards on the 16th so she’ll receive them on time.

Linda has been doing very well and is currently working on a new project. When she is ready, I’ll share more details with you (I’d do it now, but try as I might, I can’t get her to give up any more information right now!! Even her daughter-in-laws have tried to no avail!!) Linda has been very amused at my efforts to extort information.

For those who wonder if Linda reads your cards and emails, yes she does. In fact, I will share with all of you something Linda shared with me recently. She told me not so long ago, that when she’s had a bad day or two, she takes out letters she’s received from High Chaparral fans and re-reads. They make her feel better and re-energize her. She has a very special place in her heart for High Chaparral fans.

post Getting To Know You Time Addition, Special High Chaparral Reunion Broadcast

February 3rd, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:44 pm

Getting To Know You Time Addition

Getting to Know You with Susan McCray now appears at 3:30 and 6:30 pm Pacific every Tuesday on

Don’t forget Susan has interviews with many of The High Chaparral folks in her Archives!

Special High Chaparral
Reunion Broadcast

On December 15 Susan McCray ran a very special High Chaparral Reunion 2009 edition of Getting To Know You. If you missed this Reunion special check it out in the Getting To Know You archives, or play it directly here:
Play Cameron Mitchell recording Born of a Simple Woman

Remember Susan has interviewed many of your favorite High Chaparral stars and well as hundreds of fascinating celebrities and other successful people. Check out her archives for hours of interesting listening.

You can also hear lots of HC Audio on the Newsletter HC Audio site.

post New Henry Darrow Photo Album

February 3rd, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:44 pm

There is a new collection of Henry Darrow photos available at Many of the photos are from Henry’s private collection and new to fans.

Work on Henry’s biography continues although a publication date has not yet been announced, according to co-author Jan Pippins. “I’ve finished interviews and am concentrating on writing.”

post PBS ‘Pioneers of Television’ series to feature Wilmington resident Henry Darrow

February 3rd, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:43 pm Wilmington Star-News Online published this Henry Darrow article on Jan 6.

Name a 1960s or 1970s cowboy TV show and it’s likely Henry Darrow appeared in it.

Because of his extensive work in Westerns on the big and small screen, PBS producers Producers Steven J. Boettcher and Michael J. Trinklein flew into Wilmington this week to interview the Wilmington-based actor for a new installment of their “Pioneers of Television” mini-series. Darrow moved to the area with his wife, Lauren Levian, in 2002.

The series has already explored other forms of American television genres including sitcoms, late night TV, variety shows and game shows.

His interview responses, filmed at the Wilmington Plastic Surgery offices on Eastwood Road, will be used in an episode exploring how the Western captured American audiences. Part of the interview explored how Darrow, who changed his name from Henry Delgado at the suggestion of a film agent, saw the roles of Latinos in Westerns evolve over the years. He was the first person of Hispanic decent to play the character of Zorro, a role he’s played multiple times.

Perhaps best known for his portrayal of Manolito Montoya in “High Chaparral,” the Puerto Rican-born actor also made appearances in “The Wild Wild West,” “Bonanza,” “Gunsmoke” and many other Westerns.

Other actors PBS has interviewed for this installment episode of “Pioneers in Television” include James Garner, Linda Evans , Fess Parker, Darby Hinton, Ed Ames, Angie Dickinson and Robert Conrad.

Boettcher said that since the series began, he and Trinklein have criss-crossed the United States and interviewed about 150 people from television’s early days.

The Western episode is scheduled to air in the fall along with episodes focusing on science fiction, crime drama and early children’s programs.

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