Actors of Legend: Michael Landon
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Actors of Legend: Michael Landon

A legend that withstands the test of time has been one many looked up to and still make reference to when discussing making a difference or standing ground for beliefs. Michael Landon is that legendary actor. Having taken part in many projects, including those of his own creation, Michel Landon never seemed to do anything that would alter the reputation he took so much pride in over the years.

Hollywood is not what it used to be. Hollywood has become overcrowded with so many entertainers that somehow got lucky and made it big due to popularity but not necessarily capability. Looking back on when Hollywood was full of legends who took pride in their work rather than just making a movie for a pay check I would like to nominate my own “Actor’s of Legend.”

A legend that withstands the test of time has been one many looked up to and still make reference to when discussing making a difference or standing ground for beliefs. Michael Landon is that legendary actor. Having taken part in many projects, including those of his own creation, Michel Landon never seemed to do anything that would alter the reputation he took so much pride in over the years.

Landon stood strong with his faith in God and portrayed many characters over the years that shared his beliefs and views on his religious stand. Michael Landon was born Eugene Maurice Orowitz in Forest Hills, a neighborhood of Queens, New York. Landon's father, Eli Maurice Orowitz, was a Jewish American actor and movie theater manager, and his mother, Peggy O'Neill, was an Irish American Catholic dancer and comedienne. Eugene was the Orowitz' second child; his sister, Evelyn, was born three years earlier. In 1941, when Orowitz was four years old, he and his family moved to the Philadelphia suburb of Collingswood, New Jersey, where he attended and celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at Temple Beth Shalom, a Conservative synagogue, in Haddon Heights, an area that did not allow Jews until after World War II.

Landon decided on his surname by choosing it from a phone book. His first starring appearance was on the television program, Telephone Time in the episode, The Mystery of Casper Hauser as the title character. Other parts came - movie roles in I Was A Teenage Werewolf, High School Confidential, and the notorious God's Little Acre, as well as many roles on television, such as Crossroads (three episodes), The Restless Gun (pilot episode aired on Schlitz Playhouse of Stars), Sheriff of Cochise (in "Human Bomb"), Crusader, The Rifleman, Fight For The Title, The Adventures of Jim Bowie, Johnny Staccato, Wire Service, General Electric Theater, The Court of Last Resort, State Trooper (two episodes),Tales of Wells Fargo, Tombstone Territory (in the episode "Rose of the Rio Bravo", with Kathleen Nolan), among many others.

Michael Landon went from Bonanza to Little House on the Prairie. Both shows were for NBC and very successful. Later he went on to star in Highway to Heaven. Highway to Heaven ended in 1989 after plummeting in the ratings. Co-star French died of advanced lung cancer before the final episodes aired. French had also co-starred with Landon in Little House. Michael Landon was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which metastasized into his liver and lymph nodes. He passed away on July 1st of 1991 at age 54.

For more information about me as a writer, please check out http://kevin-davison.webnode.com/, http://authorkevincdavison.blogspot.com/, and http://write-for-a-cause.blogspot.com/.

Article by Kevin C Davison

“I write to entertain, and for a cause.”

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Comments (3)

Well presented. Thanks for sharing.

Landon was one of my favorite all time actors, who did something actors don't do anymore in Hollywood and that is stand by their faith. I think the mold was broke when Michael Landon was born, because they sure don't make them like him anymore. Great article and thanks for the trip down memory lane. I grew up watching his television shows.

Ranked #16 in Celebrities

I couldn't agree with you more Annette! He stood by his faith and represented it in virtually everything he did. I was a fan of his as a child up unto his sad passing. I wrote this article to remind people about him because as you said no one else other than these "Hollywood Scientologists" represent their faith int he industry well anymore.

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