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Michael Landon Biography

Birth Name:
Eugene Maurice Orowitz
Birth Place:
Forest Hills, New York, United States
Actor, director, producer, screenwriter

Fast Facts

  • Grew his hair long after watching the 1949 movie Samson and Delilah, because he believed it would make him strong
  • Set a national high-school record in the javelin toss
  • Lost his athletic scholarship to USC after suffering a torn ligament in his shoulder, and subsequently dropped out of school
  • Chose his stage name by picking it out of a telephone directory
  • Often acted alongside his children, including sons Michael and Mark and daughters Leslie and Jennifer, throughout his career
  • Released the 1962 single "Gimme a Little Kiss/Be Patient With Me" on the heels of his success on Bonanza
  • Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1984
  • Appeared on the Tonight Show With Johnny Carson in 1991 to publicly discuss his pancreatic-cancer diagnosis and dispel multiple tabloid rumors
  • Inducted posthumously into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 1995
  • Landon's Little House on the Prairie costar Melissa Gilbert named her son, Michael Garrett Boxleitner, after him


  • 1979Golden Globe-Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama: nominated