To Little House on the Prairie fans, Michael Landon will likely always remain a beloved father figure. However, many have begun questioning the actor’s legacy due to a number of troubling aspects surrounding his personal life. Before his death in 1991 from pancreatic and liver cancer, Michael was married three times and seemed to have a propensity for cheating. It was also recently revealed that he engaged in some sexist behavior on the set of Little House on the Prairie. Join Facts Verse as we take a look at several tragic details that came out after Michael Landon’s death.
In addition to playing the character of Pa Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie, Michael Landon was also a director and producer on the show. This meant that Michael had a much bigger role behind the scenes on the show than Karen Grassle, the actress who played Ma Ingalls. Although Pa and Ma may have been amicable and loving partners on the screen, this relationship didn’t carry over to the two star’s relationship on set. Although Karen came onto the show with a great deal of professional respect for Michael, she has claimed in the years since that she ended up despising him.
Thankfully, Karen was able to set aside her differences with Michael Landon before his death from pancreatic and liver cancer in 1991. However, she still has made it her mission to talk about the poor behavior that he exhibited on the set of Little House on the Prairie due to the fact that she thinks that people today can learn from it. When Michael exhibited sexist behavior on the set of Little House on the Prairie, Karen never spoke up for fear that she would be fired from the show. Today, she regrets this, as she feels she could’ve possibly helped show Michael the error of his ways.
It seems that Karen’s biggest gripe with Michael on the set of Little House on the Prairie was that he could be a little bit of a bully. Karen came onto the show making the same paycheck per episode that the child stars that played her and Michael’s on-screen children made. Michael made a good deal more. However, he justified this by saying that he was also a director and producer on the show. While it’s inarguable that Michael had a bigger role on the program behind the scenes, Karen was also clearly an important part of the show who deserved to be making more than the kids.
Michael didn’t take too kindly to Karen asking for a pay increase after bringing the discrepancy to his attention. Instead, he took to giving the character of Ma a reduced presence on the show and even started bullying Karen and making fun of her to the other cast and crew. In addition to Michael’s behavior towards her, Karen didn’t appreciate Michael’s attitude on the set of the show in general. He could often be heard making misogynistic jokes to others on the set. Though some would laugh at Michael’s sexist antics, Karen would always become upset. However, she remained quiet about her feelings until much later.
Due to the on-set feud between Karen Grassle and Michael Landon, the character of Ma had a greatly reduced presence in later seasons of Little House on the Prairie. Not only was her character given fewer scenes, but the scenes that Karen did film were oftentimes cut out of episodes before airing. In addition, Michael could often be seen making faces to mock Karen to the cast and crew while they were screening dailies. All Karen wanted was a fair wage comparable to what Michael was getting compensated for performing as the character of Pa. Instead, the actress got bullied on set!
Despite the poor behavior of Michael’s that Karen fell victim to on the set of Little House on the Prairie, she still found it in herself to forgive her costar before his 1991 death from pancreatic and liver cancer. Nowadays, Karen believes spreading the word about her feelings on the set of Little House on the Prairie can help embolden future generations of actresses to speak up when others on sets are making inappropriate remarks or being treated unfairly. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
Besides being known for his role on Little House on the Prairie, Michael Landon was also known for performing on the show Bonanza. It was on the set of Bonanza that Michael met the woman that was to become his second wife. Her name was Lynn Noe, and the two started an affair. The affair caused the dissolution of his first marriage, and he subsequently married Lynn. Many years later, Michael Landon began working on Little House on the Prairie and repeated this exact same situation with a stand-in by the name of Cindy Clerico. This time, it was Lynn Noe who found herself the victim of a husband cheating on her with a much younger and more attractive actress.
It seemed that Michael Landon had a habit of upgrading to newer models when it came to his life partners. This resulted not only in poor relationships with the various mothers of his various kids, but also with some of his coworkers. Lynn Noe notoriously refused to attend Michael’s funeral, telling her and Michael’s children that the actor was already essentially dead to her as a result of the divorce. However, she maintained no negative feelings against Cindy, claiming that if it hadn’t happened with her, it would’ve been someone else. According to Michael, his and Lynn’s marriage was damaged beyond repair by the time that he started his affair with Cindy Clerico on the set of Little House on the Prairie, the same justification that he had used many years prior when starting his affair with Lynn on the set of Bonanza.
Michael Landon and Lynn Noe were married in 1963, and didn’t get divorced until 1982. Despite the fact that they were married for nearly two decades and shared many children together, Lynn still opted out of attending Michael’s funeral. Michael and Lynn had four children together, and Michael also had two children from his previous marriage. Before starting his affair with Lynn Noe on the set of Bonanza, Michael Landon had been married to a woman by the name of Dodie Levy-Fraser. Michael and Dodie had two sons.
Michael Landon began his affair with Cindy Clerico in the early 1980s. Cindy was a stand-in on Little House on the Prairie, in addition to being a makeup artist. The young actress was nearly half Michael’s age. Michael claimed that his and Lynn’s marriage had fallen apart and that beginning his new relationship with Cindy was the right thing to do. However, this doesn’t explain why he didn’t wait until divorcing his second wife before romancing his new one!
Regardless of whatever problematic incidents resulted in the union, Michal Landon and Cindy Clerico remained together until the former’s 1991 death from pancreatic and liver cancer. Over 500 people, including Ronald Reagan, publicly memorialized the beloved star at a public ceremony.
Before Michael Landon’s death from pancreatic and liver cancer at the age of only 54, costar Melissa Gilbert almost didn’t get to say goodbye. Like her on-screen mother Karen Grassle, the actress that had played Laura Ingalls had fallen away from Michael Landon on the set of Little House on the Prairie. However, this was because of the fact that she had found out about his affair with Cindy Clerico and not because of any pay dispute or bullying. Michael and Melissa’s relationship had previously been incredibly strong, and Melissa had viewed her on-screen father as a legitimate real-life role model after the early death of her own father.
When Melissa found out about Michael cheating on his second wife, she was devastated to learn that someone she respected so much could do something so horrible to the woman that he was supposed to care for. Melissa had come to view Michael in the same light that television audiences viewed the character of Pa Ingalls. Melissa found the actor who portrayed her on-screen father to be a strong and considerate man, though learning about the affair tarnished her image of him irreversibly.
Melissa eventually came to terms with the fact that Michael Landon wasn’t the hero that she thought he was. Like Karen Grassle, she set aside her differences with him before his death in 1991. However, she almost didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to him! The actress was incredibly hesitant to make the fateful trip to officially say goodbye to her old on-screen father, always making some excuse for why the date had to be postponed. When it became clear that Michael was going to die very soon, she realized that she couldn’t keep postponing her goodbye.
On the day that Melissa Gilbert was supposed to say goodbye to Michael Landon, she was so hesitant to go that she essentially had to be forced by her husband. However, she was glad to have done it. Michael passed away from pancreatic and liver cancer in 1991, and many have speculated in the years since that the cancer was caused by a nuclear reactor incident that had occurred during the 1950s on the land that served as the set of Little House on the Prairie. One of Michael’s many children is director Christopher Landon, known for making such horror features as Happy Death Day and it’s sequel. Recently, Christopher was diagnosed with cancer himself, though it was caught in time for surgery to take care of the problem.
Although Michael Landon engaged in some problematic behavior during his lifetime, he will likely remain beloved figure Pa Ingalls in the eyes of diehard Little House on the Prairie fans. Now t’s time to hear from you: do you think that Michael Landon was a strong and gentle patriarch like his character on Little House on the Prairie, or do you think that he was a misogynistic bully who considered his wives and female costars to be disposable? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!