Veteran actor Pernell Roberts of 'Bonanza' died at his Malibu home Sunday. His wife Eleanor Criswell told the Los Angeles Times that Roberts lost his battle with cancer. He was 81.

Roberts shot to fame in the role of Adam Cartwright on the long-running western, though he left the show to pursue a film career after six seasons - an arguably premature move that Entertainment Weekly recently counted among the 50 worst TV blunders of all time. After 15 years out of the limelight, Roberts took on the starring role of 'Trapper John, MD,' for all seven seasons of its run.