The Emperor Norton

The Emperor Norton

Air Date: February 27, 1966

Written by: Robert Sabaroff, Gert P. Young

Directed by: William F. Claxton

Guest Stars: Sam Jaffe (Emperor Joshua Norton), Parley Baer (Harry Crawford), William Challee (Sam Clemens), Tom Palmer (George Harris)

Authorities wish to commit a man who thinks he’s the Emperor of the United States. When he winds up on the Ponderosa, Ben gets in contact with someone who can attest to Norton’s sanity.

Trivia: This is Sam Jaffe’s first and only appearance in the series. An accomplished actor on Broadway and film, he was a victim of the Hollywood blacklist during the HUAC hearings. After filming The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), he didn’t appear in another Hollywood film until the late 50’s.

In an interesting Bonanza connection, Jaffe was married to Bettye Ackerman, who portrayed Estelle Dawson in the Season 9 episode, ‘Second Chance’.