John Amos starred in the 1988 Bonanza television movie
(L) Distributed by Bonanza Ventures and Gaylord Productions
John Amos could be seen as the father in the '70s sitcom Good Times, but that's not the only production in which you can see the veteran actor.
Have you ever wondered why he wasn't seen in later seasons? It's because he decided to leave the show, even though it was still popular among viewers. However, his career didn't take a major hit, nor was it a "flop." After his departure, he appeared in several shows and movies, including The Love Boat, The A-Team and many more.
In 1988, the actor starred in the television movie Bonanza: The Next Generation.
Amos played Mr. Mack, a cook who prepared dishes for the Cartwrights and visitors who came to their house in the Ponderosa. He had a good heart but didn't mind taking matters into his own hands when needed. In one scene, Mr. Mack was serving pie when one of the Cartwrights wanted another slice. As Mr. Mack walked toward the kitchen, he saw a shadow go past the window with a gun.
He grabbed a knife, ready to protect himself and the Cartwrights. Before the man can shoot the gun, Mr. Mack puts the knife to his throat. It turned out to be the son of Hoss Cartwright, who thought he abandoned him and his mother.
It was based on the classic Western series Bonanza, but none of the original cast appeared. Lorne Greene (Ben Cartwright) was supposed to reprise his role but passed away before production began.
So, veteran actor John Ireland signed on to play Ben's brother Aaron who takes over the Pondersoa and finds himself fighting to get it back after signing over drilling rights to people called "land-grabbers."
The television movie served as a pilot for a TV series that was never produced. Two more films followed, Bonanza: The Return (1993) and Bonanza: Under Attack (1995). Amos didn't appear in those, though.
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