The Little House on the Prairie star lost his battle with cancer in 1991, aged 54, and his widow Cindy decided to keep his legacy alive by having his name etched onto a metal plaque and displayed in a children's park dedicated to the icon in his hometown of Collingswood.
The memorial, displayed on a knee-high cement slab, was taken off during a community clean-up in November (11), but town mayor Jim Maley insisted it was in safe keeping and would be put back at a later date.
At the time, Landon's widow fumed, "It was sad to hear what had happened... I paid for the park to be built and the plaque was funded by the private donations of people who loved Michael and wanted to memorialise him. It meant a lot to my family and his fans, and it would have meant a lot to Michael, too. The park should be restored and the plaque returned to its original place."
However, the memorial plate was reportedly found in a dump by a local resident in January (12) - although no reason was given for its apparent disposal - and it has since been put back on display "close to its previous location", according to the New York Times.
The Little House on the Prairie star lost his battle against cancer in 1991 at the age of 54, and six years later a new children's park was dedicated to the icon as a tribute in Collingswood, New Jersey.
But a plaque marking the memorial, which was displayed on a knee-high cement slab, was removed by town mayor Jim Maley during a community clean-up day back in November (11) - because it was considered a safety "hazard".
And he hasn't found a new home for the item, which has sparked outrage among fans.
Now, Landon's wife is speaking out about the delay to find her husband's plaque a permanent home..
She tells the National Enquirer, "It was sad to hear what had happened. I was notified about the plaque by Abbe Effron, who had led the campaign to erect it. I paid for the park to be built and the plaque was funded by the private donations of people who loved Michael and wanted to memorialise him.
"It meant a lot to my family and his fans, and it would have meant a lot to Michael, too. The park should be restored and the plaque returned to its original place."
According to the Associated Press, the plaque is currently being kept in a storage facility at the town's public works facility.
September 16, 2005 5:05am EST
The socially inept Elizabeth Masterson (Reese Witherspoon) is a workaholic doctor who never leaves the hospital. Her married sister Abby (Dina Waters) tries in vain to set up with a good man to no avail. But fate is about to intervene. On her way home from a long shift Elizabeth gets into a head-on collision with a semi-truck and suddenly the lines between life and death are blurred. Jumping forward we meet David Abbott (Mark Ruffalo) a guy wallowing in self-pity from the death of his wife two years earlier who to find some solitude moves into a fabulous furnished apartment. What he doesn't know is the previous tenant hasn't left not really. That's right it was Elizabeth's apartment and for whatever reason (seriously they don't entirely explain it) Elizabeth--or her spirit I guess--hasn't grasped the idea that she is in well limbo. Only David can see her of course as she yells at him for leaving sweat rings on the coffee table but Elizabeth eventually grows on him. She elicits his help in finding out what happened to her and with a little help from the eccentric Darryl (Jon Heder) a bookstore employee who has the gift for sensing spirits David and Elizabeth find that heaven and earth are not really that far apart.
As our romantic pair Witherspoon and Ruffalo do an adequate job adhering to the staid romantic comedy formula. Witherspoon is one of the more consistent comedic actresses these days and has the sweet but controlling ingénue routine down to a science. But it may be time for her to take a break from the standard fare and head back to the indies getting down and dirty like she did in Election. Ruffalo does a pretty impressive job for his second time as the romantic lead. As he did with 13 Going on 30 Ruffalo at least tries to add some quirky twists to a boring character. Still he should also probably stick to showcasing his dramatic acting talent in cool indies much like he did in You Can Count on Me. It's Heaven's side characters who have all the fun. Waters (The Haunted Mansion) does a nice turn as the caring sister who's own hectic life as a mother of two rambunctious kids always seems to interfere with what she's doing. Donal Logue (TV's Grounded For Life) as David's therapist best friend too has a fun time yuking it up. But the real standout in an otherwise dull universe is Napoleon Dynamite himself Jon Heder in his second feature film. He's still a geek but at least this time he's a mystical one who knows a thing or two about wandering spirits. Of course he also gets the best lines: "I'm 99.9 percent parched here. I need a cola." I'm going to use that one from now on.
As the director of the satirical Mean Girls and the cutesy Freaky Friday Mark Waters may be out of his element with an out and out romantic comedy. The initial idea about a women whose stuck in the spirit world until she finds the true love she never sought after in life is somewhat intriguing. But rather than play with that the film just ends up your standard romantic comedy while also stealing from other films such as Ghost and The Sixth Sense. Just Like Heaven also has some serious logistical flaws. For example seeing how Elizabeth is supposed to be a ghost--that she can't touch anything tangible and can walk through walls tables and just about anything else--she is later seen laying on top of a table. It doesn't make sense as to how she can walk through it at one moment and be on it the next. And the fact you are paying attention to these inconsistencies means you just aren't caring that much about the rest of the film.