To most television viewers, Michael Landon was a kind and fatherly figure. They grew to love him thanks to his role as Charles Ingalls in “Little House on the Prairie” and as the angel Jonathan Smith in “Highway to Heaven.”
However, the people who worked with Landon during his long television career didn’t always hold him in such high esteem. For example, actress Karen Grassle, who played Caroline Ingalls in “Little House on the Prairie” has publically criticized Landon. She has claimed that he made “disgusting jokes” on the set of the show.
Another person who has also publically criticized the late actor is director Hall Bartlett, according to PEOPLE. Bartlett worked with Michael Landon and Priscilla Presley on the film “Love Is Forever” in 1983.
In 1985, Bartlett talked about the expectations he had of Landon before they started working together on that film. The director said that he believed Landon would be like Charles Ingalls in “Little House on the Prairie.” This didn’t happen, according to Bartlett.
Instead, the Michael Landon Bartlett claimed to have worked with cussed a lot. He also tried to get as much time on camera as he could. Landon also reportedly tried to tell Bartlett how to do his job. And Landon also reportedly gave Presley a difficult time for working on her hair.
Let’s just say that Bartlett didn’t hold back on his criticism of Landon. In fact, the director called the actor the “biggest liar” in their shared business.
“If Landon is trying to get by with another Jesus Christ painting of himself, then let me say that Landon is the biggest liar I’ve ever met in the picture business,” Hall Bartlett said.
‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Michael Landon Responded to Comments Made By Director Hall Bartlett
Unsurprisingly, “Little House on the Prairie” star Michael Landon had a few things to say about the comments director Hall Bartlett made about him. To begin with, Landon said the comments were “pathetic.”
He also explained the actions he took during the filming of “Love Is Forever.”
“I was a co-executive producer on that film. I had control,” Landon also said.
The “Little House on the Prairie” star also had more to say in his own defense against Bartlett’s comments.
“Anybody who is successful in this business, they figure something is rotten in his past or he knows somebody. I don’t know another big star really well except Lorne Greene. I don’t know any executive at any studio except the guys I work with at NBC, and I bet we don’t talk more than twice a year. I’m your typical old-time work guy and I like it that way. I don’t owe anybody anything,” Landon also said.
Michael Landon passed away on July 1, 1991, from pancreatic cancer. He was 54 years old at the time of his death.