Michael Landon

Actor, Director, Producer
Boyishly handsome, immensely popular TV star who appeared in occasional films, including the now-camp classic "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" (1957). Landon made his name as the romantic, impulsive youngest Cartwright ... Read more »
Born: 10/31/1936 in Forest Hills, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (50)

Forever Young 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

Pioneers of Television 2011 (Tv Show)

Interviewee

What Is This Thing Called Love? 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

America's Missing Children 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The American Dream Contest 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The American Red Cross Emergency Test 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The Music Center 25th Anniversary 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Desperate Passage 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Highway to Heaven 1984 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Surviving a Heart Attack 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The 15th Annual People's Choice Awards 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

NBC Investigates Bob Hope 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Bob Hope Buys NBC? 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

NBC's 60th Anniversary Celebration 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Little House: Look Back to Yesterday 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Little House: The Last Farewell 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Sam's Son 1984 (Movie)

Gene Orman (Actor)

The Chemical People 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Walt Disney... One Man's Dream 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

Comeback 1981 (Movie)

John Everingham (Actor)

General Electric's All-Star Anniversary 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Doug Henning's World of Magic 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Swing Out, Sweet Land 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

America's Junior Miss Pageant 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Mitzi and a Hundred Guys 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Bing Crosby's Sun Valley Christmas Show 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Little House on the Prairie 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Special London Bridge Special 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Actor

An Amateur's Guide to Love 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

A Country Happening 1969 - 1970 (TV Show)

Actor

Sam Hill 1960 - 1961 (TV Show)

Actor

The Errand Boy 1961 (Movie)

Guest Star (Actor)

God's Little Acre 1958 (Movie)

Dave Dawson--The Albino (Actor)

Maracaibo 1958 (Movie)

Lago (Actor)

The Legend of Tom Dooley 1958 (Movie)

Tom Dooley (Actor)

Way of the West 1957 - 1958 (TV Show)

Actor

Cavalcade of America 1952 - 1957 (TV Show)

Actor

I Was a Teenage Werewolf 1957 (Movie)

Tony Rivers (Actor)

The Restless Gun 1956 - 1957 (TV Show)

Actor

These Wilder Years 1956 (Movie)

Boy in Poolroom (Actor)

Bonanza (TV Show)

Actor

Little House on the Prairie (TV Show)

Actor

Love Is Forever (TV Show)

Actor

Monsanto Presents Mancini (TV Show)

Actor

The Loneliest Runner (TV Show)

Actor

Us (TV Show)

Actor

Where Pigeons Go to Die (TV Show)

Actor
Director (4)

Little House: A New Beginning 1982 - 1989 (Tv Show)

Director

Sam's Son 1984 (Movie)

(Director)

It's Good to Be Alive (TV Show)

Director

Killing Stone (TV Show)

Director
Writer (2)

Sam's Son 1984 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Crossroads 1955 - 1957 (TV Show)

Writer
Producer (2)

Little House: Bless All the Dear Children 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Father Murphy (TV Show)

Executive Producer
Editor (1)

Haunted Hollywood (TV Show)

Editor

Biography

Boyishly handsome, immensely popular TV star who appeared in occasional films, including the now-camp classic "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" (1957). Landon made his name as the romantic, impulsive youngest Cartwright brother, Little Joe, on the long-running hit "Bonanza" (1959-73), the first TV western broadcast in color and the number one series for seven consecutive seasons. Although he had scripted several episodes of "Bonanza", he sought complete authority over his next series, the wholesome family saga "Little House on the Prairie" (1974-82), in which he starred as frontier homesteader Charles Ingalls. Landon created the series and often directed and scripted episodes, which he imbued with his views on "faith" and "family".

Landon next produced and starred as Jonathan, the probationary angel whose mission is to bring love and understanding to people in trouble, on "Highway to Heaven" (1984-88). He also produced, wrote and directed the TV series "Father Murphy" and numerous TV movies including "The Loneliest Runner (1976), based on incidents in his own life, and the autobiographical feature film "Sam's Son" (1984), about a champion javelin thrower. Landon died from pancreatic cancer after a long, prominently media-covered but nonetheless dignified struggle at the age of 54.

Relationships

Cindy Landon Film Clips

Wife
Married Feb. 14, 1983 until his death July 1, 1991

Jennifer Landon Actor

Daughter
Born August 29, 1983 mother, Cindy Clerico played Gwen Norbeck on the soap opera, "As the World Turns" (CBS)

Leslie Landon

Daughter
Born October 11, 1962 mother, Marjorie Lynn Noe born when Landon was still legally married to his first wife played school teacher Etta Plum on "Little House on the Prairie" from 1982-1983

Shawna Landon

Daughter
Born December 4, 1971 mother, Marjorie Lynn Noe

Christopher Landon

Son
Born February 27, 1975 mother, Marjorie Lynn Noe publicly disclosed his homosexuality in a cover story for The Advocate (December 7, 1999)

Josh Landon

Son
Born February 11, 1960 adopted with Dodie Levy-Fraser

Mark Landon

Son
Born October 1, 1948 adopted Dodie's biological son from a previous relationship died May 11, 2009

Michael Landon

Son
Born June 20, 1964 mother, Marjorie Lynn Noe

Sean Landon

Son
Born August 5, 1986 mother, Cindy Clerico

Cheryl Landon

Step-Daughter
Lynn Noe's daughter from previous marriage born c 1953

Dodie Levy-Fraser

Wife
Married 1956; she was six years Landon's senior Divorced 1962

Lynn Noe Actor

Wife
Married 1963 Divorced 1982

Eli Orowitz

Father
Jewish American worked for Paramount and managed a theater

Peggy Orowitz

Mother
Irish American Roman Catholic

Jason Smith

Son
Born in May 1961 and adopted by Landon and first wife Dodie Levy-Fraser given up at age three by Dodie after her divorce from Landon was raised by an older Texas couple, Bill and Alma Smith never had any contact with Dodie or Michael after his adoption

EDUCATION

University of Southern California

Los Angeles , California
Attended on a full athletic scholarship for javelin throwing; lost scholarship because of a torn shoulder ligament

Collingswood High School

Collingswood , New Jersey

Milestones

1991

Final film before his death, the CBS TV-movie, "Us"; also wrote, produced and directed

1991

Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (April)

1990

Wrote and directed the TV-movie, "Where Pigeons Go to Die" (NBC) starring Art Carney

1984

Returned to series TV as Jonathan Smith, a probationary angel, in "Highway to Heaven" (NBC); also executive produced, wrote and directed

1984

Wrote and directed first feature, "Sam's Son"; also co-starred in the film

1983

Reprised role of Charles Ingalls for three "Little House on the Prairie" (NBC) made-for-television movies; also executive produced

1982

Executive produced but did not star in "Little House: A New Beginning" (NBC)

1981

Created the series, "Father Murphy" (NBC); also wrote and directed episodes

1974

Portrayed Charles Ingalls on the long-running NBC series, "Little House on the Prairie"; also executive produced, wrote and directed

1974

Directed first TV-movie, "It's Good To Be Alive" (CBS)

1962

Released a Bonanza-related single, "Gimme A Little Kiss/Be Patient With Me" on Columbia Records

1959

Made starring role debut in a series as Little Joe Cartwright on "Bonanza" (NBC); also wrote and directed episodes

1957

First TV appearance, "Cavalcade of America" (ABC)

1957

First significant acting role, "I Was a Teenage Werewolf"

1956

Made film debut in "These Wilder Years"

Directed, produced, scripted and starred in own TV series, "Highway to Heaven"

Discovered by a Warner Bros. executive and encouraged to enter acting school

Bonus Trivia

.

"Throughout his life, Landon had been able to turn trauma into triumph. He'd survived growing up with a weak father, a deranged mother, an unstable sister, the anti-Semitism that hounded him in Collingwood, New Jersey. He decided early that he would never take any crap from anybody. And he didn't." - Mark Morrison in TV Time, July 20-26, 1991

.

Landon became addicted to tranquilizers due to the stress of ""Bonanza" and later was able to rehabilitate.

.

Inducted into Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1995

.

Landon was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on April 5, 1991.

.

On May 9, 1991, he appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" to speak of his pancreatic cancer and to publicly condemn the tabloid press for their sensational headlines and inaccurate stories.

.

In June 1991, Landon made the cover of Life Magazine, after giving the magazine an exclusive rare private interview about his life, his family, and his struggle to live.

SIMILAR ARTICLES