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Michael Landon: The Life Of An Acting Legend

Michael Landon alias "Charles Ingalls" in Little House on the Prairie.
April 8, 2020 - 13:22 / Marion Wierl

They say that only the good die young. The famous actor Michael Landon died at the age of only 54. But even though he died in 1991, there are still so many fans of the shows he starred in that remember him fondly today.

Micheal Landon rose to fame at the age of 22 in his first starring TV role as "Little Joe Cartwright" in the television series Bonanza (1959). During Bonanza's sixth season, the series topped the Nielsen ratings and maintained number one for three whole years!

Sydney Greenbush and Michael Landon in Little House on the Prairie.

A year after Bonanza was cancelled, Landon received his starring role as "Charles Ingalls" in the series Little House on the Prairie in the 1980's and 1990's. Landon then starred in the successful program Highway to Heaven playing a probationary angel. 

David Canary, Dan Blocker, Lorne Greene and Michael Landon in 1967.

Michael Landon: A "Jack Of Many Trades"

Besides his work on screen in television series and movies, Michael Landon was also a producer, screenwriter and director. Micheal Landon was married three times during his life and was the father of nine children. It has been twenty-seven years since the cult star Michael Landon's (†54) passing. 

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He changed his original name from Eugene Maurice Orowitz to Michael Landon, which he took from a phone book in Los Angeles before rising to stardom. We can't imagine shows like Little House on the Prairie and Bonanza without the wonderful acting from Micheal Landon. 

Why was 'Little House on the Prairie' really cancelled? Michael Landon explained it in 1984.

Michael Landon's tragic death

In April 1991, Landon was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The cancer had already attacked his liver, which led to Landon's death on July 1, 1991 at the age of only 54. In memory of her co-star, Melissa Gilbert (54), who played Landon's daughter "Laura" in the series Little House on the Prairie, named her second child after him - Michael. Landon was buried at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.