Michael Landon Loved Going Shirtless On ‘Little House on the Prairie’: ‘He Was a Male Farrah Fawcett Poster’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls in
Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls in 'Little House on the Prairie', 1975
Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls in ‘Little House on the Prairie’, 1975 | NBCU Photo Bank

If you’re a Little House on the Prairie fan, you may recall all through the present’s 9 seasons that Charles Ingalls, in contrast to the opposite males on the town, constantly appeared with out his shirt on.

Ingalls, known as Pa by his daughters, was performed by Michael Landon, who was answerable for writing, producing, and directing most of the present’s episodes.

And Landon, in accordance with one forged member, loved displaying off his chiseled physique as a lot as attainable.

Michael Landon made ‘Little House on the Prairie’ occur

Melissa Gilbert, left, with Michael LandonMelissa Gilbert, left, with Michael Landon
Melissa Gilbert, left, with Michael Landon | NBCU Photo Bank

A star for 14 years on tv western Bonanza, Landon was already a well-known face when he was tapped by NBC producer Ed Friendly to direct the 1974 pilot for the household drama set in 1800s Minnesota.

The actor, who died from pancreatic most cancers at age 54, agreed to direct on the situation that he may play the Ingalls household patriarch, Charles.

Melissa Gilbert, in an interview with the Archive of American Television, remembered her awe in assembly Landon at her audition for the function of Laura Ingalls on the present.

“I went in and met Michael Landon,” she recalled, “and I keep in mind strolling within the room, and I keep in mind pondering, ‘Wow, that’s what a star…’ he seemed like a star. . . He had actually nice hair, the best hair. None of the grown-ups in my world had that form of hair. He was actually cool and he had aviator sun shades.”

‘Caroline Ingalls’ actor talked about her TV husband

Karen Grassle and Michael Landon as Caroline and Charles Ingalls on 'Little House on the Prairie', 1974Karen Grassle and Michael Landon as Caroline and Charles Ingalls on 'Little House on the Prairie', 1974
Karen Grassle and Michael Landon as Caroline and Charles Ingalls on ‘Little House on the Prairie’, 1974 | NBCU Photo Bank

Karen Grassle was forged within the function of Charles’ spouse Caroline on this system. She recalled working with Michael Landon in a July interview with Closer Weekly.

“He was constantly trying to make the crew laugh and make everybody happy,” she mentioned. “A very hard worker, and he could be quite moody — he had a lot on his shoulders that first year. He had a falling-out with a producer very early on, so he was the only captain.”

Grassle defined that she was employed virtually on sight by Landon.

“My agent despatched me up for a sequence with this man from Bonanza [Michael Landon],” she mentioned. “I was not a big TV watcher, so I asked, ‘Which one is he?’ He said, ‘He’s Little Joe.’ I was the only one at the interview — they’d seen everyone in Hollywood who was right for the part! They were down to the wire because they cast everyone else. After I read my second scene with Mike, he leapt up like a jack-in-the-box and said, ‘Bring her to wardrobe!’ But NBC had to approve me, so he interviewed me for executives on closed-circuit TV.”

Nellie Olsen actor mentioned Landon was ‘gorgeous’

Michael Landon, 1974Michael Landon, 1974
Michael Landon, 1974 | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

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Alison Arngrim, who portrayed imply lady Nellie Olsen on the drama, wrote in her 2010 memoir Confessions of a Prairie Bitch of Landon’s manly look on the present’s set. His swagger and strut had been tough for anybody to miss.

According to Arngrim, the director loved displaying himself, “knew he was sexy, and made sure everyone else knew it, too.”

Arngrim mentioned the Charles Ingalls actor was “gorgeous, absolutely breathtaking; all muscles and tanned skin, big white teeth, and a wild mane of shining, curly hair.”

She in contrast Landon’s look to the preferred feminine pin-up lady of the day. “He was like a male version of a Farrah Fawcett poster,” she mentioned. “I sometimes wondered what he would look like in that red swimsuit.”

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