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Michael Landon Wet the Bed Until 12 Years Old

Michael Landon’s problems started long before he found his way to Hollywood. He had a very troubling childhood – something that far too many people can relate to – but his upbringing was particularly alarming. He was virtually on his own from an early age. Instead of being under the loving care of his mother, he was the one that had to look after her.

Childhood turmoil followed Landon well into his adulthood. While the world knew him as Charles Ingalls, the beloved father figure on Little House on the Prairie, Landon’s personal life was far from the one most people would have expected considering the strong, faithful and dependable persona he played on TV. Infidelity and alcoholism proved to be two of his biggest obstacles to overcome.

His personal relationships kept crumbling as he fell deeper and deeper into a pit of self-destruction and misery. Regardless of his private struggles and the numerous demons that plagued him, Landon was always looking after others. He put the well-being of his peers above himself. He might have been troubled, but he had a massive heart.

His life wasn’t all pain and suffering. In fact, it’s fairly clear that he was able to overcome many of his greatest trials and tribulations and come out a better man on the other side.

Michael Landon was a dynamic individual – and his story is fascinating as much as it is heartbreaking. Let’s honor the late actor by taking a closer look at his life and career.

Landon’s Mom Stressed Him To The Point That He Wet The Bed

Michael Landon’s childhood didn’t start off all that bad. His mom, Peggy, had made a name for herself as a comedian and dancer. Landon’s dad, Eli, was a theater manager as well as an actor. You would think that Landon’s early years might have been fairly pleasant – and they were for a while – but then things started to change for the worse.

Peggy and Eli’s marriage soured and quickly became toxic. Peggy’s mental state went downhill and Michael ended up receiving the short end of the stick by taking on the brunt of his mother’s self-destructive behavior.

Peggy attempted suicide on numerous occasions. Many of those attempts Michael was a witness to. One day while the family was on vacation at the beach, Landon’s mother tried to drown herself in the ocean. Michael saved her but she showed no gratitude for his act of heroism. In fact she went on about her day like nothing had even happened.

Landon would later describe that day as one of the worst of his life.

Eventually, Peggy’s behavior worsened and she was no longer just a threat to herself. On multiple occasions, she would point a knife a young Michael and threaten him. That’s some thanks to the person that saved her life.

She became emotionally and perhaps physically abusive. Michael’s mental state began to deteriorate as a result of the acrid environment he was forced to live in. A side effect of his stress and anxiety was bed wetting – which he was afflicted with for many years.

Peggy would weaponize this embarrassing fact against him as well. While he was at school, she would hang his urine-soaked sheets outside of his window for everyone to see. He would have to run home from school to swap out the sheets so none of his friends would see. His bed wetting continued to be problem until he was 12.

Instability Was Consistent Throughout Landon’s Life

Even though Charles Ingalls was a reliable and faithful patriarch on TV, Michael Landon’s family life was far from stable. His intimate relationships all proved to be equally rocky. In total, he was married three times and had 9 children.

Despite his struggles, he still showed compassion to his biological and adopted children – whom he had a tremendous amount of love for.

Landon’s relationship’s with his wives, however, lacked the same kind of commitment and devotion that he had with his children. While working on Little House on the Prairie, Michael met Cindy Clerico, a make-up artist on the set. The two had an affair and Michael’s marriage to Marjorie Lynn Noe abruptly came to and end. His children were devastated by the divorce but he did his best to comfort them during that trying time.

Landon ended up marrying Clerico on Valentine’s day in 1983.

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Keep watching to learn all about Landon’s famous friends, his numerous talents and hobbies, and his tragic death.

From Scandal To Inspiration

Michael Landon was far from being a saint but it would be unfair to paint him as some kind of villain either. He was a complicated man, full of faults, but equally outfitted with admirable qualities as well.

His Little House on a Prairie co-stars would become something like extended family members to him. One person in particular was especially attached to him. Melissa Gilbert played Laura, one of Charles Ingalls daughters. Landon ended up becoming something like a father-figure to Gilbert during the years the two worked with each other. Melissa’s actual father had died when she was only 11 and Michael filled that hole whether he intended to or not.

On the set of Little House, Landon would constantly sip vodka out of his coffee cup. Gilbert would later recall that that might have been why she would pick men that smelled like booze when she was old enough to start dating.

When Landon’s affair came to light, a lot of people were hurt by his actions. Even little Melissa would become quite distant but Landon still had a network of supportive friends to lean on. Some of his buddies included stars like Johnny Carson and Chuck Norris.

Michael Landon Was Multi-talented

Despite the fact that his life was cut short, Michael Landon managed to accomplish quite a lot in the time that he had. In addition to being a TV star he also found moderate success in the music industry and as a teen he was a star athlete.

While in high school he set multiple records for javelin throwing. He might have made that into his career if it weren’t for the fact that he tore a ligament in his shoulder and was forced to quit the sport. Things could have been very different for him if he hadn’t. Despite experiencing a bit of a setback with one of his loves, that injury gave him the opportunity to focus on his musical aspirations instead.

In 1957, Landon released his first single which included the tracks Gimme A Little Kiss (Will Ya Huh) and Be Patient With Me. In 1962 that record was re-released and featured a picture of Landon from Bonanza. And in 1964, Michael dropped another record with the singles Linda is Lonesome and Without You. Granted, these records didn’t climb the charts, but they did help him get his name out there.

Friends In High Places

You might be wondering how in the heck Michael Landon became friends with martial arts superstar Chuck Norris. Well, Landon always prioritized keeping himself in shape and he loved sports. That fact is already established by the javelin record-breaking chapter of his teenage years.

It might be difficult to imagine Charles Ingalls giving anyone a roundhouse kick to the face, but Landon had an intense love for martial arts and sought out Chuck Norris to be his teacher. That’s when the two kicked off a friendship that lasted for the remainder of Landon’s life.

One of Michael’s biggest foes in life was cancer. In fact, it was that enemy that would eventually cut his life short. When the news broke that he was diagnosed with the disease, rumors started flying and all sorts of misinformation filled the tabloids and airwaves.

Fortunately, Michael could rely upon his friendship with Johnny Carson to go on his show and clear the air about what was going in his life. Over the years, he would be a guest on his program quite a few times and would share a lot of lighthearted moments with his friend. The two would get so close that they would even prank each other from time to time.

Landon made his last appearance on the program in May of 1991.

Landon’s Biggest Battle

Michael’s tragic battle with cancer began in April of 1991. At first, he just had intense headaches. When he went to the doctor to get them checked out, he received the awful news that he had a particularly aggressive form of pancreatic cancer. There was no chance of survival.

Even after learning that his prognosis was terminal, he was still in high-spirits and ready to face his fate head-on. He wasn’t going to live in fear. When he went on The Tonight Show in May, he used his appearance as an opportunity to set the record straight about what he was going through and to send his regards to his devoted fans.

In an interview with Life Magazine, he provided an intimate and candid reflection of his trials and hardships. He opened up about what he had to deal with growing up and some of the struggles that he dealt with in his adult life as well. One of the most heart-wrenching revelations of that interview was his frank honesty while discussing how difficult it had been to simply go on living dealing with the reality of his cancer diagnosis.

Melissa Gilbert, who hadn’t spoken to Landon in years would reconcile with Landon following his diagnosis. In fact, she would become one of his primary caretakers during this difficult final chaptor of his life.

In his final days, Michael Landon implored that his fans pray for him, He promised that he would keep on fighting with everything that he had within himself for as long as he could but unfortunately, that wasn’t enough. On July 1, 1991, Landon lost his battle to cancer. He was only 54 years old.

Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Today, he is remembered with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a plaque in honor of his life in his hometown of Collingswood, New Jersey. Melissa Gilbert went on to name her son Michael in his loving memory.

Even though Michael Landon’s life was full of strife and tragedy he managed to channel that energy into his work. He accomplished quite a lot despite the fact that his time here on earth was cut so short. His devoted fan base and legion of friends and advocates are a testament to the man he really was.

We’d love to hear what you have to say about Michael Landon. Which one of his roles stands out most vividly in your mind, Little Joe Cartwright in Bonanza or Charles Ingalls in Little House on the Prarie? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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