Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Brian Keith and Ernest Borgnine attended his funeral.

12 years after his death, his eldest sister, Evelyn, died on New Years' Day, 2003.

According to "Little House on the Prairie" (1974), co-star, Karen Grassle, she once said in an interview that he had a very lonely childhood as a result of his parents fighting.

Actress Melissa Gilbert's son Michael (b. 1995) was named after him.

After his second divorce and the cancellation of "Little House on the Prairie" (1974), Melissa Gilbert didn't keep Landon in touch at all, until she reluctantly called him, when watching her TV father on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962). After the call, she went to the Landon home, where Gilbert was his caregiver until his death.

Almost got the lead role in "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" (1959).

Always claimed to have chosen his professional name by picking the name Michael Landon out of the Los Angeles telephone directory.

Attended Ronald Reagan's second inauguration as Governor of California on 3 January 1971, and his first inauguration as President of the United States on 20 January 1981.

Before he became a successful actor, he worked in a warehouse and at a gas station.

Before his death, he appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962) to talk about his brave battle against cancer and his life and it was the highest-rated show of all time.

Best remembered by the public for his role as Little Joe on "Bonanza" (1959) and for his starring role as Charles Ingalls on "Little House on the Prairie" (1974).

By most accounts he was exactly like the kind, gentle, heroic characters he portrayed onscreen and in fact few, if any, people complained about working with him, something rare in Hollywood.

Charles Ingalls, Landon's character on "Little House on the Prairie" (1974), was ranked #4 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" [20 June 2004 issue].

Children: Mark Fraser Landon (adopted-born October 1, 1958); aka Mark Landon) and Josh Fraser Landon (adopted as newborn in 1960-born February 11, 1960) with Dodie Levy-Fraser. Leslie Ann Landon (b 11 October 1963; aka Leslie Landon), Michael Graham Landon (b. 20 June 1965; aka Michael Landon Jr.), Shawna Leigh Landon (b. December 4, 1971; aka Shawna Landon) and Christopher Beau Landon (b. 27 February 1975; Christopher Landon) with Lynn Noe and Jennifer Rachel Landon (b. 29 August 1983; aka Jennifer Landon)and Sean Matthew Landon (b. 6/1986) with Cindy Landon. He also had a step-daughter, Cheryl Ann Pontrelli.

Comedian and ex-talk show host, Johnny Carson was a longtime friend of his and had (in private) always confided in Landon and shared his own issues with him.

Despite being given a less than three per cent chance of survival, Landon announced he was going to beat his pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately by the time of the diagnosis it had already spread to his liver and stomach.

Encouraged by his wife, Landon quit smoking in the summer of 1989 following his friend Victor French's death.

Graduated third from the bottom of his class academically in 1954.

Grew up in the southern New Jersey town of Collingswood and graduated Collingswood High School in 1954.

Had a lot of hobbies during the prime of his life: fishing, karate, golfing, swimming, spending family time, painting, cooking, playing bridge, playing with disabled people and weightlifting.