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 (born 11 October 1963; aka Leslie Landon), Michael Graham Landon (born June 20, 1965; aka Michael Landon Jr.), Shawna Leigh Landon (born December 4, 1971; aka Shawna Landon) and Christopher Beau Landon (born February 27, 1975; Christopher Landon) with Lynn Noe and Jennifer Rachel Landon (born August 29, 1983; aka Jennifer Landon) and Sean Matthew Landon (born June 1986) with Cindy Landon. He also had a stepdaughter, Cheryl Ann Pontrelli.
Following his death, he was interred at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.
Actress Melissa Gilbert's son Michael (born 1995) was named after him.
His birthplace, Forest Hills, is a neighborhood area in Queens, New York.
Inducted (as a cast member of Little House on the Prairie (1974)) into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1998.
Always claimed to have chosen his professional name by picking the name Michael Landon out of the Los Angeles telephone directory.
His father, Eli Maurice Orowitz, was a studio publicist and theater manager, his mother, Peggy Kathleen O'Neill Orowitz, was a popular comedienne and dancer.
His father was from a Jewish family and his mother was of Irish Catholic background.
Never legally adopted his stepdaughter, Cheryl, because of her birth father's objections.
Won the freshman javelin toss at the University of Southern California-Los Angeles.
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.
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 this was the highest-rated show of all time.
He was attending USC on an athletic scholarship but tore his shoulder ligaments, which would prevent him from throwing the javelin again.
His last wife was former make-up artist Cindy Clerico, whom he met near the end of the "Little House" run in 1981, and married two years later.
Grew up in the southern town of Collingswood, New Jersey.
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" [June 20, 2004 issue].
Before he became a successful actor, he worked in a warehouse and at a gas station.
His second wife, Marjorie Lynn Noe, was one of the few people who refused to attend his funeral, because she told her children that the divorce had already been like a death to her.
When he filed for divorce from Lynn, that cost him $26 million. Though he gave her his $3.5-million, 35-room Beverly Hills mansion, this bitter divorce was a devastating blow for Lynn, who stated on television that her ex-husband had become her angel (April 16, 1981).
In 1954, he was the national high school record holder in the javelin throw.
By most accounts, he was exactly like the kind, gentle, heroic characters he portrayed onscreen, and in fact, several people complained about working with him, something rare in Hollywood.
12 years after his death, his eldest sister, Evelyn, died on New Years' Day, 2003.
He smoked four packs of unfiltered Menthol cigarettes a day during his lifetime, which probably contributed to the pancreatic cancer that killed him.
His stepdaughter, Cheryl, recalled in his biography "I Promised My Dad" that once Landon was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he realized that all the years of smoking, drinking and eating an unhealthy diet had taken their toll. Later, despite going on a regimen that included a naturalistic approach to the cancer (coffee enemas and a healthy diet), Landon was devastated to learn that the cancer had tripled in size.
He was left-handed, and his awkward handwriting (he often hand-wrote scripts) sometimes made that difficult for his secretary to read what he had written).
Despite only being given a 3-5 per cent chance of survival, Landon announced he was going to beat his pancreatic cancer. However, by the time of the diagnosis, the cancer had already spread to his liver and stomach.
Michael Landon passed away on July 1, 1991, almost four months away from what would have been his 55th birthday on October 31.
Attended and graduated third from the bottom of his class at Collingsworth High School in Collingsworth, New Jersey (1954). Had an I.Q. of 159.
He was buried at the same cemetery as his television father, Lorne Greene (Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery, Culver City, California).
Was very good friends with: Shirley Jones, Karen Grassle, Larry Hagman, Bill Bixby, Michele Lee, Brian Keith, Buddy Ebsen, James Arness, Bob Hope, Milton Berle, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Don Knotts, Dick Van Dyke, Chuck Connors, Dabbs Greer, Dan Blocker, Robert Conrad, Ronald Reagan, Johnny Carson, Kent McCray, William F. Claxton, Mariette Hartley, Connie Stevens, Abby Dalton, Ruta Lee, Lorne Greene, Victor Sen Yung, Richard Mulligan, Robert Fuller, James Drury, Doug McClure, Moses Gunn, Bob Eubanks, Lew Ayres, Ernest Borgnine, Charlotte Stewart, Bonnie Bartlett, Merlin Olsen, Victor French, Mickey Rooney, William Schallert and Richard Bull.
He encouraged his children, not to make the same mistake Landon had made, when he was a teenager. As a result, his children were told to study, without watching television, except only that was Little House on the Prairie (1974).
Landon had appeared in almost every episode of Little House on the Prairie (1974), from 1974 to 1982, with the exception of the final year. He appeared in 177 of the 204 episodes of the series.
Had a great deal 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.
He once invited Shirley Jones to an art exhibit.
After his second divorce and the cancellation of Little House on the Prairie (1974), Melissa Gilbert did not keep Landon in touch at all, until she reluctantly called him, when watching her television 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.
His adoptive son, Mark Landon, died in May 2009 at age 60.
His final series Highway to Heaven (1984) was canceled at the end of the fifth season, because of low ratings.
Attended Ronald Reagan's second inauguration as Governor of California on January 3, 1971, and his first inauguration as President of the United States on January 20, 1981.
Left an estate worth $100 million.
On May 21, 1991, he had a near fatal blood clot in his left leg that was successfully treated at Cedars-Sinai Hospital.
Encouraged by his wife, Landon quit smoking in summer 1989 following his friend Victor French's death.
Was raised near the same city as Bill Cosby.
Was a commercial spokesperson for the public service message, Pharmacists Against Drug Abuse, in the early 1980s.
Michael and his first wife Dodie were adopting a son named Jason in 1961. Shortly before or after their divorce in 1962, Dodie gave the child up for adoption to another couple.
When Michael and Dodie's marriage was floundering, they thought adopting another baby might help, they called him Jason. But they both realized before the final adoption papers had been signed, that it was not the answer. They gave the infant back to the agency and went ahead with a divorce. Michael moved out and got his own apartment (he was allowed visitation w/Mark and Josh). He saw Lynn Noe (second wife) on the Bonanza set and married her in 1963.
Was diagnosed with cancer, at the very same time actor Bill Bixby was. Coincidentally, both Bixby and Landon were at the same hospital [April 5, 1991].
Began his career as a contract player for Warner Bros. Pictures in 1956.
Beat out two other actors Robert Blake and Robert Fuller for a co-starring role as Little Joe Cartwright on Bonanza (1959). This was because David Dortort had mixed feelings about the new, unfamiliar actor auditioning for the role, thinking Landon was way too young to play the role. With the encouragement of David's wife, who picked up a publicity still of Landon, her husband changed his mind, and bestowed Landon the role.
Was associated with NBC from 1956 through 1990.
Used to play tennis with Robert Fuller.
His widow Cindy Landon is a vegetarian.
During childhood, he always worried about his mother's suicide attempts.
Acting mentor and friends with Melissa Gilbert.
Acting mentor was Lorne Greene.
Longtime friends with Victor French.
Began directing at age 32.
When he married Dodie Levy-Fraser, his parents did not attend the wedding.
Before he was a successful actor and director, he was also a singer.
Depression ran in his family.
Was a commercial spokesperson for Kodak Camera in the 1970s and 1980s.
He met Marjorie Lynn Noe on the set of Bonanza (1959). They were married for 19 years until their 1982 divorce.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1500 North Vine Street in Hollywood, California on August 15, 1984.
Michael Landon passed away on July 1, 1991. Just two months before his death, he made his final guest appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962).
A plaque and small playground referred to as the "Little Treehouse on the Prairie" was erected in Knights Park, a central park in Landon's hometown of Collingswood. In 2011, the plaque was removed from the park by the borough and was later given to a local newspaper by an unnamed person. According to the Collingswood, New Jersey website, the plaque was removed during a fall cleanup with plans to return that to a safer location. The plaque was reinstated next to a bench in a safer location the following summer.
Was the very first guest on the revised version of Match Game 73 (1973).
On an episode of Highway to Heaven (1984), he directed the episode in which young kids were being diagnosed with cancer, while attending summer camp. In real life, he had also faced the same disease he succumbed to, six years later.
His private life was always bothered by tabloid headlines.
He attended and celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at Temple Beth Sholom, a Conservative synagogue, then located in Haddon Heights, an area that did not allow Jews until after World War II, now in Cherry Hill. His family recalls that Landon "went through a lot of hassle studying for the big event, which included bicycling to a nearby town every day to learn how to read Hebrew and do the chanting".
In the "Little House on the Prairie" books, Charles Ingalls wore a beard, but by the time this was turned into a series, Landon's character never wore a beard.
He never practiced any religion as an adult.
Had hired five of the real-life siblings on the set of Little House on the Prairie (1974), especially children of his own.
Despite being one of the biggest names in television history, he never came close to being nominated for an Emmy Award, in any category.
He began smoking four packs of cigarettes a day in 1961.