Michael Landon Net Worth: Michael Landon was an American actor, writer, producer, and director who was said to have a net worth of $40 million in current dollars at the time of his death in 1991. Landon was best known for his starred in several classic television shows. . He played Joseph “Little Joe” Cartwright in the TV series “Bonanza” from 1959 to 1973, Charles Ingalls in the TV series “Little House on the Prairie” from 1974 to 1983, and Jonathan Smith in the series “Highway to Heaven” from 1984 to 1989.
Michael has appeared on the cover of TV Guide 22 times, more than anyone other than Lucille Ball. In 1979 he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series – Drama for Little House on the Prairie. Landon also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1984. He was married three times and had nine children. Michael Landon died on July 1, 1991, aged 54, of pancreatic cancer. If Michael were alive today, he would be 81 years old and could be worth well over $100 million.
Eugene Maurice Orowitz was born on October 31, 1936 in Queens, New York to mother Peggy, who was Roman Catholic, and father Eugene, who was Jewish. Orowitz had an older sister, Evelyn, who was born in 1933. Landon moved with the family to Iningswood, New Jersey, when he was four years old, and attended Temple Beth Shalom in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, throughout elementary school. .
Landon attended Collingswood High School where he excelled in athletics. In 1954 he set the high school record for longest javelin throw. Michael’s talents earned him an athletic scholarship to the University of Southern California. After tearing ligaments in his shoulder he lost his scholarship and subsequently dropped out of college.
Landon became interested in show business and began working as a gas station attendant across the street from Warner Bros studios and was later spotted by local talent agent Bob Raison.
After being discovered by Bob Raison, Landon changed his name from Eugene Orowitz to Michael Landon, a name he found by looking it up in a phone book.
He made a number of small and uncredited appearances on television shows. In 1956, Michael got his first leading role in a series called “Telephone Time”, in the episode “The Mystery of Casper Hauser” as the main character. Other notable early roles include: film roles in ‘I Was a Teenage Werewolf’ (1957), ‘Maracaibo’ (1958), ‘High School Confidential’ (1958), ‘God’s Little Acre’ (1958) and ‘The Legend of Tom Dooley” (1959) as well as many television roles such as “Crossroads”, “The Restless Gun” (pilot episode aired on “Schlitz Playhouse of Stars”), “Sheriff of Cochise” (in “Human Bomb”) ” Crusader”, “Frontier Doctor”, “The Rifleman” (in “End of a Young Gun”, 1958), “
Michael also studied a career as a singer. He released a single titled “Gimme a Little Kiss (Will “Ya” Huh)”/”Be Patient with Me” in 1957. In 1964, Landon released a second single “Linda is Lonesome”/”Without You”.
In 1959, Landon began playing the role of Little Joe Cartwright in “Bonanza.” The series was one of the first programs broadcast in color nationally. The show was a massive hit, topping Nielsen ratings as the #1 series for three consecutive years. Landon was the show’s breakout star, receiving far more fan mail than any other cast member. As his star rose, Michael was able to secure an option to write and direct a Bonanza episode series.
Michael also directed one of the show’s most memorable specials, “Forever,” a two-hour wedding episode.
Along with Lorne Greene and Victor Sen Yung, Landon appeared in all fourteen seasons of the series. Michael appeared in 428 of the series’ 431 episodes.
Bonanza’s eventually declined and was canceled in November 1972. The last episode aired on January 16, 1973.
(Photo by NBC Television/Getty Images)
Little House on the Prairie
In 1973, a year after Bonanza was canceled, Landon was cast as Charles Ingalls in the NBC pilot Little House on the Prairie. After eight seasons, in 1982 the series was rebranded by NBC as “Little House: A New”. The beginning”. Although Landon remained the show’s executive producer, director, and writer, the show did not feature his character. “Little House: A New Beginning” was the final chapter of “Little House on the Prairie” as the series ended in 1983. .
Michael appeared in 187 out of 204 episodes of the series.
Highway to Heaven and Work Later
From 1984 to 1989, Michael Landon also starred in the series “Highway to Heaven” as Jonathan Smith. He was the show’s creator, executive producer, writer and series director. The series ended in 1989 and was the only show during Landon’s career that he directly owned. He appeared in all 111 episodes of the series.
In 1984, Landon released Sam’s Son, a coming-of-age film he wrote and directed, based on Michael’s childhood.
Landon also appeared as a celebrity panelist on the premiere week of CBS’ Match Game.
Landon was married three times and had nine children in total.
Michael was married to Dodie Levy-Fraser from 1956 to 1962. They had two children, Mark Fraser Landon (adopted, Dodie’s biological son) and Josh Fraser Landon, born 1960 (also adopted as a child).
Landon was married to Marjorie Lynn Noe from 1963-1982. They had five children, Cheryl Lynn Landon (née Cheryl Ann Pontrelli and Lynn’s daughter from her first marriage), Leslie Ann Landon, born 1962, Michael Landon Jr., born 1964, Shawna Leigh Landon, born 1971, and Christopher Beau Landon, born in 1975.
Landon was married to Cindy Clerico from 1983 until her death in 1991. They had two children, Jennifer Rachel Landon, born in 1983, and Sean Matthew Landon, born in 1986.
Landon was a chain smoker and heavy drinker.
In 1991, after suffering severe headaches, Landon was diagnosed with an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer. The cancer was found to be inoperable and terminal. On July 1, 1991, at the age of 54, Michael Landon succumbed to cancer and died in his home in Malibu.
Landon was buried in a private family mausoleum at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.
Michael Landon owned several valuable properties during his time. He owned a seven-bedroom mansion in Malibu that had 70 feet of ocean frontage. He sold that house in 1989 for $6 million, which is equal to about $11 million today. In 2014, an updated version of that house sold for $40 million. Michael owned another mansion in Malibu Canyon that was much more private. This second property is an equestrian complex that has a house of 9000 square meters. His surviving family still owns this property today.
In 2015, Michael’s widow Cindy Landon spent $7.5 million on a mansion above Broad Beach in Malibu and completely renovated the house. In 2018, Cindy put the house up for sale for $18 million, but couldn’t find a buyer. She later rented the house for $100,000 a month until television mogul Seth MacFarlane bought the house for $15.7 million in 2019.