Dan Blocker, aka”Hoss,” was drafted into the United States Army during the Korean War.
He had basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Dan Davis Blocker (December 10, 1928 – May 13, 1972) was an American television actor and Korean War veteran. He is best remembered for his role as Hoss Cartwright in the NBC western television series Bonanza.
He served as an infantry sergeant in F Company, 2nd Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division in Korea, December 1951 to August 1952. He received a Purple Heart for wounds in combat according to the June/July 2013 issue of VFW Magazine. Gibson, Kelly (June–July 2013). “Korean War Vets Made Their Names On Screen”. VFW Magazine.
During his time in Korea, Dan Blocker received the following military awards: the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with two 3⁄16″ bronze campaign stars, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations Service Medal, the Korean War Service Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
Five years after serving in the Korean War, in 1957, Dan Blocker appeared in a Three Stooges short film, Outer Space Jitters, portraying the part of “The Goon.” He was billed as “Don Blocker” instead of “Dan Blocker.” He went to make two appearances on the long-running Gunsmoke series in the episodes: “Alarm at Pleasant Valley” and “Thoroughbreds.” He also appeared in several other popular western series throughout the years 1957 and 1958.
In was in 1959 when Dan Blocker’s big break came. He’d been cast as Eric “Hoss” Cartwright on the long-running NBC television series Bonanza, whereas he played the role until his death in 1972.
Blocker had also started and received partial ownership in a successful chain of Ponderosa/Bonanza Steakhouse restaurants in exchange for serving (in character as Hoss) as their commercial spokesman and making personal appearances at franchises.
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