‘Little House on the Prairie’: Michael Landon’s Daughter Leslie Joined Him For Show’s Final Season

by Clayton Edwards

Michael Landon was the glue that held Little House on the Prairie together. He was Pa Ingalls. However, behind the scenes he the patriarch of the show. He wrote, directed, and edited several episodes of the classic series. At the same time, he was like a father to the young Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls.

It should come as no surprise that Landon found a way to include some of his real-life family in the show. Namely, his daughter Leslie Landon. Leslie was Michael’s third child and first biological child. Her most notable acting role came in the final season of Little House on the Prairie.

Leslie Landon’s Role on Little House on the Prairie

Leslie Landon only had a couple of roles. In fact, she never seriously pursued an acting career. However, she was a major part of the final season of Little House on the Prairie. She played Etta Plum, the school teacher. Leslie was in fifteen episodes of the final season.

However, her connection to the show goes much further than that. Leslie Landon made several cameos in the series over the years. She was a sick girl in the episode titled “Plague,” in the first season. She also made brief appearances in the third, fifth, and sixths seasons of the show before eventually landing a full-time role in season nine, according to IMDb.

We can go a little deeper than that, though. Leslie Landon is the one who told Melissa Gilbert that she got the role on Little House on the Prairie, according to Do You Remember. She heard her mother and father discussing the show over dinner. Then, Michael Landon turned to Leslie and told her that she actually went to school with the girl who would be his Half-Pint. This was exciting news for young Leslie. So, the next day, she searched for Melissa at school and told her the good news.

Gilbert’s agent didn’t even know she had the part yet. Needless to say, Leslie was in hot water over that one. She learned to keep showbiz talk to herself after that.

Leslie Landon didn’t do much acting after Little House on the Prairie. She returned for the Little House TV movies. Landon also had a part in a made-for-TV movie called Hollywood’s Most Sensational Mysteries. After that, though, she was done with acting. Today, Leslie is a clinical psychologist. She does, however, attend Little House cast reunions from time to time.