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Age Difference


Broken Flower
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Broken Flower

We all know that Clay Stafford is Joe's half brother and that he's older than Joe. But does anyone know the age difference? Between Adam's and Hoss' age or between Hoss' and Joe's age?

 

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There was a press release in 1959 that said the age difference between Adam and Hoss was 5 years but no age difference was identified between Hoss and Joe.  A fan asked Mr. Dortort at one of the Bonanza conventions if the age difference between each son was 6 years and I believe Mr. Dortort said that sounded about right.  

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Angelene111

Then there's the question of where Clay Stafford fits in. 

 

The clues we have (which we get from Marie My Love) is that he's already got a small ranch in Nevada which Marie's husband ran away to and worked for Ben for an indeterminate amount of time. Hoss and Adam have been born already and of coarse Joe has not been born. Marie's husband leaves her (by the way she makes it sound) on the day of their marriage. This would put Clay's birth at approximately 9 months later. We would also have to consider travel time in those days to get from New Orleans to Nevada. Enough for Jean to get there, work for Ben and develop a good working relationship with him. Now, a ship around the Cape Horn, ferry up the Mississippi and horse and buggy are all possible modes of transportation that he may have taken. This is if he went straight there and didn't travel around first. 

 

So with all this info where would you all put Clay's age at?

Is there any info which I may have overseen that could help in identifying Clay's age?

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1 hour ago, Angelene111 said:

Then there's the question of where Clay Stafford fits in. 

 

The clues we have (which we get from Marie My Love) is that he's already got a small ranch in Nevada which Marie's husband ran away to and worked for Ben for an indeterminate amount of time. Hoss and Adam have been born already and of coarse Joe has not been born. Marie's husband leaves her (by the way she makes it sound) on the day of their marriage. This would put Clay's birth at approximately 9 months later. We would also have to consider travel time in those days to get from New Orleans to Nevada. Enough for Jean to get there, work for Ben and develop a good working relationship with him. Now, a ship around the Cape Horn, ferry up the Mississippi and horse and buggy are all possible modes of transportation that he may have taken. This is if he went straight there and didn't travel around first. 

 

So with all this info where would you all put Clay's age at?

Is there any info which I may have overseen that could help in identifying Clay's age?

I didn't get the impression that Jean left Marie the same day they'd married.  According to his mother, Jean wed Marie in secret.  Marie was pregnant when Jean left but he didn't know--she must have been early in her first trimester, so Clay could have been born 7-8 months after Jean left . By Bonanza magic, Jean ended up on the Ponderosa working for Ben.  

 

By the time Ben arrives in New Orleans to tell Marie that Jean was dead, I assume 2 or 3 years have passed since Jean left.  Then there's the question of how long after his parents' marriage that Joe was born.  Perhaps Clay is 3, or maybe even 5, years older than Joe.  Hard to know for sure.  

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In real life, Barry Coe (Clay) was two years older than Michael Landon (Joe), so my guess is the age difference would have been the same on the show.  Did the writers intend for the fans to speculate on when Joe was born and who had actually fathered him or was it the lack of continuity in writing?

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Angelene111
3 hours ago, patina said:

I didn't get the impression that Jean left Marie the same day they'd married.  According to his mother, Jean wed Marie in secret.  Marie was pregnant when Jean left but he didn't know--she must have been early in her first trimester, so Clay could have been born 7-8 months after Jean left . By Bonanza magic, Jean ended up on the Ponderosa working for Ben.  

 

By the time Ben arrives in New Orleans to tell Marie that Jean was dead, I assume 2 or 3 years have passed since Jean left.  Then there's the question of how long after his parents' marriage that Joe was born.  Perhaps Clay is 3, or maybe even 5, years older than Joe.  Hard to know for sure.  

Thank you for this. That's kind of the impression I got too that he was more closer to Hoss's age than any of them but not older. You're right it's hard to know with any real certainty. 

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southplains
12 hours ago, Dana said:

In real life, Barry Coe (Clay) was two years older than Michael Landon (Joe), so my guess is the age difference would have been the same on the show.  Did the writers intend for the fans to speculate on when Joe was born and who had actually fathered him or was it the lack of continuity in writing?

 

Regarding the ages and age differences between the actors: I don't believe there is any correlation whatsoever between that and the ages/age gaps of the characters. For example, both Dan Blocker and Pernell Roberts were only 13 years younger than Lorne Greene. Michael Landon was 8 years younger than his co-stars Dan and Pernell. So no, I wouldn't think the age difference would have been the same on the show, no matter which character we are talking about. 

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Broken Flower

Mike was 22 when he got the role of Little Joe. If I remember, Little Joe was about 17 when Bonanza started.

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I don't know all the ins and outs, but I felt Clay was nearer in age to Adam than to Hoss, he seemed older, but that might not work out in practicality. :rolleyes:

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12 hours ago, southplains said:

 

Regarding the ages and age differences between the actors: I don't believe there is any correlation whatsoever between that and the ages/age gaps of the characters. For example, both Dan Blocker and Pernell Roberts were only 13 years younger than Lorne Greene. Michael Landon was 8 years younger than his co-stars Dan and Pernell. So no, I wouldn't think the age difference would have been the same on the show, no matter which character we are talking about. 

How much older was Ben supposed to be than Marie? How long had Johnny been gone from New Orleans? Was Ben the pregnant Marie's ticket out of New Orleans?

 

Has Anyone ever seen the 1975 Dean Martin roast of Michael Landon? Lorne hilariously describes Bonanza as a show about a forty-seven year old father and his three forty year old sons!

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1 hour ago, Dana said:

How much older was Ben supposed to be than Marie? How long had Johnny been gone from New Orleans? Was Ben the pregnant Marie's ticket out of New Orleans?


Clay had been taken from Marie at birth and she’d been told her baby was dead.  She wasn’t preggers when Ben met her in New Orleans. By her lack of interest in him until the end of the ep, when the scriptwriters had their “oh fudge this is Joe’s mama so we gotta get her hooked up with Ben” moment,  I can’t see Marie insisting on staying in New Orleans after she and Ben share that passionless kiss and he promises she can start over in Nevada. Ben definitely was Marie’s ticket out of New Orleans, to the magical Ponderosa where Jean working there is never mentioned again, not even when Clay shows up.

 

In my Bonanzaverse, Ben is 5 years older than Marie. She’s a worldly woman with a scandalous past that led to Ben paying hush-money to keep her past a secret. I figure she’d done some living before marrying Ben. But thanks to the vagueness of her episode and the various mentions of her sprinkled throughout Season 1, Marie can be anything a ff writer wants her to be in addition to being Joe’s mother.

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The reason I think Marie may have been pregnant with Joe when she left New Orleans was because of that man she mistook for Jean/Johnny in her house.

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