Michael Landon

Actor + Director + Producer + Writer
Born Oct 31, 1936

Michael Landon was an American actor, writer, director, and producer. He is widely known for his roles as Little Joe Cartwright in Bonanza (1959–1973), Charles Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983), and Jonathan Smith in Highway to Heaven (1984–1989). Landon appeared on the cover of TV Guide 22 times, second only to Lucille Ball (TV Guide, July 6, 1991).… Read More

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1936 Birth Michael Landon was born Eugene Maurice Orowitz on October 31, 1936, in Forest Hills; a neighborhood of Queens, New York. … Read More
1941 4 Years Old In 1941, when Landon was four years old, he and his family moved to the Philadelphia suburb of Collingswood, New Jersey. … Read More


1954 17 Years Old In high school, Landon was an excellent javelin thrower, his 193′ 4″ toss in 1954 being the longest throw by a high schooler in the United States that year. … Read More
1956 19 Years Old Landon can be seen in an uncredited speaking role as a cavalry trooper in a 1956 episode of the ABC/Warner Bros. television series Cheyenne, an episode titled "Decision." … Read More


1957 20 Years Old In 1957, Candlelight Records released a Michael Landon single, "Gimme a Little Kiss (Will "Ya" Huh)"/ "Be Patient With Me" during the height of his notoriety for role in the film, I Was a Teenage Werewolf. … Read More
1959 22 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1959, at the age of 22, Landon began his first starring TV role as Little Joe Cartwright on Bonanza, one of the first TV series to be broadcast in color. … Read More
1962 25 Years Old Receiving more fan mail than any other cast member, Landon negotiated with executive producer David Dortort and NBC to write and direct some episodes. In 1962, Landon wrote his first script.


1968 31 Years Old In 1968, Landon directed his first episode. In 1993, TV Guide listed Little Joe's September 1972 two-hour wedding episode ("Forever"), as one of TV's most memorable specials. … Read More
1973 36 Years Old In 1973, Landon was an episode director and writer for the short-lived NBC romantic anthology series Love Story.


1981 44 Years Old In March 1981, Landon's mother, Peggy, died. … Read More
1982 45 Years Old In 1982, he co-produced an NBC "true story" television movie, Love is Forever, starring himself and Laura Gemser (who was credited as Moira Chen), about Australian photojournalist John Everingham's successful attempt to scuba dive under the Mekong to rescue his lover from communist-ruled Laos in 1977. … Read More
1984 47 Years Old Sam's Son was a 1984 coming-of-age feature film written and directed by Landon and loosely based on his early life. … Read More


Up through the run of Highway to Heaven, all of Landon's television programs were broadcast on NBC, a relationship of which lasted thirty consecutive years with the network. After the cancellation of Highway and due to a fallout with those within NBC's upper management, he moved to CBS and in 1991 starred in a two-hour pilot called Us. … Read More
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