Michael Landon Biography, Facts And Life Story

Michael Landon Biography, Facts And Life Story

Michael Landon Biography

Michael Landon, whose name was actually Eugene Maurice Orowitz, was born on October 31, 1936, in Queens, New York. His father Eli Orowitz worked for the production company RKO and his mother was Irish, but she was a woman with little patience and somewhat abusive with her husband and children, which did not give Eugene a happy childhood.

As a young man, he stood out as an athlete specializing in javelin throwing , which earned him a scholarship to UCLA, and he and his family moved to California for Eugene to continue his career. Sadly, an injury caused him to withdraw from the sport, which brought him closer to the world of art and acting, becoming Michael Landon.

His first roles were in film and television working with prominent actors of the time. With the 1957 film I was a teenage Werewolf, he had his first leading role .

The production received several Emmy and Golden Globes and by 1982 Landon directed Little House: A new beginning, which would actually be the last chapter of the show, coming to an end the following spring. Michael Landon was married three times , the first time in 1956 with Dodie Levy-Fraser with whom he adopted three children, divorcing in 1962. His second marriage was in 1963 with Marjorie Lynn Noe, with her he had three biological children and the union reached its end in 1980. In 1983 he married Cindy Clerico, becoming the father of two more children. After the Ingalls family, Landon plays Jonathan Smith in Highway to Heaven, a guardian angel who in order to earn his wings must help people. At first, NBC thought that the series would not hesitate, but it quickly became a new success for Landon who was now the protagonist, writer, director and executive producer.

Then he had many other participations until the producer David Dortot realized his great talent and gave him the character of Joe Cartwright from the Bonanza series . This production made him an international star and helped him gain a lot of experience as an actor and later as a screenwriter and director. When Bonanza came to an end after 14 seasons, Michael Landon was ready to be Charles Ingalls , the protagonist of The Ingalls Family or Little House in the Prairie that began in 1974, a series that he also wrote and directed. The series had main themes to show such as friendship, good values, racism, religion, relationship problems, among many others, all of them liked the public and from its first installment it was a success.

It seems that his destiny was already written. The Highway to Heaven series was prescient. Michael Landon and Victor French, passed away two years apart. French in 1989 and Landon in 1991.

when digital platforms was not exist, Landon achieved global fame thanks to three successful television products, Bonanza (1959-1973), Little House on the Prairie (1974-1983) and Highway to Heaven (1984-1989). ). Despite having become an idol for millions of viewers, he never received an Emmy nomination, considered the Oscars of television.

When he died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 54, the television story was never the same again. Ronald Reagan, former Hollywood actor and former president of the United States, and his wife Nancy attended his funeral , since the interpreter was a convinced Republican. That sad ending, but tremendous, contrasts with the childhood of someone who has been nicknamed “Jesus of Malibu”. Before reaching the top, it was hell in its youth. He suffered in high school

from the anti – Semitism of his classmates: “Jewish bastard”, they used to yell at him; A girl could not be found because the girls’ parents had a strong Catholic faith; her mother was constantly threatening to commit suicide and humiliated by hanging sheets she had soaked in Michael’s urine and she felt terribly lonely because her parents were constantly fighting.

To add insult to injury, at the age of 16 he had a motorcycle accident that disfigured almost his entire face, a misfortune that had a happy ending thanks to reconstructive surgery. And, as a good vain and flirtatious that he was, he began to grow his hair long and dye it. Landon was continue to share his dream with his new name via phone book (because his name is Eugene Maurice Orowitz) In 1959, at the age of 22, he became a big star when he played little John Cartwright in Bonanza , the legendary series in which he was for 14 seasons. At that moment, he began to be insecure about his height (he was 175 cm) and he wants to stand out like his colleagues, so he always wears a bottle on his shoesDuring the filming he learned to write scripts and direct, but it was difficult for him to digest the fame because of all the artistic cast, he was the one who received the most letters from the fans.

Eventually he took refuge in alcohol and calmed down, like the other superstars of the time, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe or Tony Curtis.

The support of his first wife, Dodie Levi-Fraser, and the love of his three children (Mark and Josh, adopted) and the help of his second wife, Marjorie Lynn Noah (1963-1982), who gave him five more children (Cheryl , Leslie Ann, Michael, Shauna and Christopher Bo) who helped him get out of this circle of destruction. But the good times were short. He also smoked four untrained cigarettes a day, probably due to pancreatic cancer, which eventually killed him.

Being a big star thanks to Bonanza allowed her to star in Little House on the Prairie without casting. The Ingalls family stories aired in 140 countries over nine seasons with 204 episodes plus four other specials. Despite the good vibes that there was during the filming of Little House on the Prairie because Michael used a lot of jokes, brought cakes on children’s birthdays and The second marriage that “married” Melissa Gilbert (Laura Ingalls) after her father’s death was hell.

When her relationship with the artist, Cindy Clerico, 20, began, the embarrassment made her even happier because her relationship and her grades weren’t that great.

The second marriage that “married” Melissa Gilbert (Laura Ingalls) after her father’s death was hell.

When her relationship with the artist, Cindy Clerico, 20, began, the embarrassment made her even happier because her relationship and her grades weren’t that great. ​​conveyed by the soap opera. After catching the bull on the horn, Marjorie spent 24 million euros on 35 houses in Beverly Hills during her divorce. When the actor died, he did not want to celebrate the funeral because he told his children that “divorce is like death to me.” Cindy and Michael married in 1983 and have two children: Jennifer Rachel and Sean Matthew.

A dramatic play took place at the end of this series because Melissa Gilbert was no longer with her “adoptive father,” whom she did not call until she saw her last television conversation with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, where she admitted that she had cancer.

With nine children from 3 different women, Landon’s home was always full of joy. Despite the hard days at work,

the typical actor is a dedicated, kind and loving father. According to his vision, he concluded that one of his sons, Christopher, was gay, but the young man officially left the campus in 1999.

A dramatic play took place at the end of this series because Melissa Gilbert was no longer with her “adoptive father,” whom she did not call until she saw her last television conversation with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, where she admitted that she had cancer.

With nine children from 3 different women, Landon’s home was always full of joy. Despite the hard days at work,

the typical actor is a dedicated, kind and loving father. According to his vision, he concluded that one of his sons, Christopher, was gay, but the young man officially left the campus in 1999.

As he has stated on occasion, my adoptive mother [Cindy] explained to me that they both smelled About my sexual gender, but my father decided to let me come to that conclusion for myself. ” Unfortunately, she was unable to see her married son with two gestated children through surrogacy. “Dad was absolutely liberal in his life,” he commented.

Michael found the last to his shoe when he was asked to star in the angel Jonathan Smith who helped people in the emblematic series Highway to Heaven , which premiered in our country 35 years ago. When producer told him his world partner should be too small, Landon refused and forced them to hire his close friend Victor French, who worked for Little House on the Prairie. Through 111 chapters, Landon demonstrated, once again, the values ​​most coveted by American society: kindness, loyalty, and patriotism.

After the cancellation of the series, he left the NBC for which he had worked his entire life and signed for CBS, with which he had prepared a a pilot for what would be the his fourth series, Us. In 1991 Landon he fell very ill and was diagnosed with end-stage pancreatic cancer that had metastasized to the liver and lymph nodes. But he died of pancreatic cancer on July 1, 1991 in Malibu at the age of 51. Ronald Reagan promised declared, “His tragic battle with cancer touched the hearts of all Americans, as did his indomitable spirit.” He left a fortune estimated at 90 million euros.

Overview

BornOctober 31, 1936 in Forest Hills, Queens, New York City, New 
                        York, USA
Birth NameEugene Maurice Orowitz
NicknamesMike Emo The Jesus of Malibu
Height5′ 9″ (1.75 m)
ProfessionActor, Director, Producer, Writer
FatherEli Maurice Orowitz
MotherPeggy (nee O’Neill)
Spouse(3)Cindy Landon (14 February 1983 – 1 July 1991) ( till his death) ( 2 children)
Lynn Noe (12 January 1963 – 2 January 1982) ( divorced) ( 4 children)
Dodie Levy-Fraser (11 March 1956 – 1 December 1962) ( divorced) ( 2 children)
Children9
Son’sMichael Landon Jr., Mark Landon, Christopher Landon, Sean Matthew Landon, Josh Fraser Landon
Daughter Jennifer Landon, Leslie Landon, Cheryl Ann Pontrelli, Shawna Landon
DiedJuly 1, 1991 in Malibu, California, USA  (pancreatic and liver cancer)

Filmography

Film
Year Title Role  
1956 These Wilder Years Boy in Poolhall Uncredited
1957 I Was a Teenage Werewolf Tony Rivers  
1958 Maracaibo Lago Orlando  
1958 High School Confidential Steve Bentley  
1958 God’s Little Acre Dave Dawson  
1959 The Legend of Tom Dooley Tom Dooley  
1961 The Errand Boy Little Joe Cartwright – Cameo Uncredited
1984 Sam’s Son Gene Orman  
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1956 Cheyenne U.S. Cavalry Trooper Uncredited
1957 Tales of Wells Fargo Tad Cameron “The Kid”
1958 Cheyenne Alan Horn / ‘Whitehawk’ 1 Episode
1958 Wanted Dead or Alive Carl Martin “The Martin Poster”
1958 The Rifleman Outlaw “End of a Young Gun”
1959–1973 Bonanza Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright 428 episodes
1974–1983 Little House on the Prairie Charles Ingalls / Narrator 187 episodes
1984–1989 Highway to Heaven Jonathan Smith 111 episodes

Awards And Honors

Year Award / Organization Category / Honor Work Result  
1969 Bambi Award TV Series International Bonanza
(shared with Lorne Greene, Dan Blocker, Pernell Roberts)
Won  
1970 Bronze Wrangler Award Fictional Television Drama Bonanza episode: “The Wish”
(shared with director, producer and cast)
Won  
1979 Golden Globe Award Best TV Actor – Drama Little House on the Prairie Nominated  
1980 Spur Award Best TV Script Little House on the Prairie episode:
“May We Make Them Proud”
Won  
1984 Hollywood Walk of Fame Television Star at 1500 N. Vine Street Inducted  
1984 Golden Boot Award Significant Contribution to the Western Genre Honored  
1991 Youth in Film Award Michael Landon Award Outstanding Contribution to Youth Through Entertainment Honored  
1995 Television Hall of Fame Significant Contribution to the Field of Television Honored  
1998 National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Western Performers Hall of Fame Inducted  
2004 TV Land Award Most Memorable Mane Little House on the Prairie Nominated  
2005 TV Guide 50 Sexiest Stars of All Time Ranked #33  

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