In which Bonanza episode did they reveal that Hoss had died ?
According to my sources, there was no episode where they actually explained Hoss' disappearance from the show. In the last season, there was an episode where Little Joe gets married, and in a scene at a lake, Joe speaks of Hoss in the past tense. But that was all.
This was not uncommon on television back then. The loss of a cast member was usually swept under the rug.
In the sequel series, Bonanza The Next Generation, it is explained that Hoss died while trying to get a wagon across a river.
Blocker died in May 1972 and his last appearance was in "One Ace To Many" which was the last episode of that season. The next episode is called "Forever" which aired in September 1972 so that's my best guess.
Hoss was mentioned in the first episode of the last season of Bonanza. If I remember correctly, he mentioned how much he loved his brother. Joe's new wife was killed later, and it was rumored this twist in the plot finished Bonanza. Hoss was a beloved character and the show was never the same. Dan Blocker's death was rather sudden, and was very big news at the time.
Below is a plot summary of "Forever" and based on this I think Earl is right. It seems like they would have mentioned Hoss's death if it had been a part of the show's plot.
Season 14, Episode 1: Forever
Original Air Date—12 September 1972
I believe there is an episode (sorry I can't recall the name or even the plot synopsis) where Ben Cartwright makes a statement to someone that he isn't ready to lose another son. At the close of the episode they show a picture of Dan Blocker (as Hoss) sitting on a dresser. I'm an avid fan of the series. Love this show!
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