Priscilla Presley Called ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Michael Landon ‘Distant’ When They Starred in ’80s Movie Together

by Clayton Edwards

Priscilla Presley has been in several movies and television shows. But her first role was in a 1983 made-for-TV movie called “Love Is Forever,” which starred Michael Landon.

In the film, Landon plays real-life journalist John Everingham. Presley plays the woman who teaches him how to dive. She said that Landon was distant and a little cold on-set. This was mostly because he was constantly fighting with the producer/director of the film.

By the time Priscilla Presley and Michael Landon were on the set of “Love Is Forever,” Landon had a successful career under his belt. Not only was he the star of “Little House on the Prairie,” but he also had a starring role in “Bonanza.” Landon worked in front of and behind the camera on several other projects.

Because of his success and experience, Michael Landon didn’t like not calling the shots on a production. So, he and director Hall Bartlett clashed constantly.

An article in “People” covered the tension on the set. According to the report, Michael Landon said that writer/producer/director Hall Bartlett was too laid back. Landon preferred his own production style that was much quicker.

On the other hand, Bartlett said, “I had to go to the mat to demand more from him. If you let Michael walk over you, he’ll have you for hors d’oeuvres.”  This clashing of egos made for a mildly uncomfortable experience for Priscilla Presley.

Michael Landon admitted that he didn’t like working under another director. “I must admit I’m much happier when I’m doing things myself—not that other people don’t do it right, but it’s just not the same.” 

Priscilla Presley and Michael Landon’s On-Set Interactions

In the film, Landon’s character had to learn to scuba dive so that he could sneak into Laos and retrieve his fiancée. Priscilla Presley played the woman who taught him how to dive. So, the actors shared several scenes underwater. She told “People” that, other than the scenes they shared, she didn’t see much of Landon.

When they were together, there was little conversation. Even Landon noted that “In the training sequences, it was just, ‘Hello, how are you?’ and then you go swimming.”

Priscilla Presley didn’t take that personally, though. She said that she knew that Landon was stressed out over the production. Presley was very aware that not having complete control of the production bothered Michael. She said, “With TV, he’s used to very few takes. And that’s been a challenge in itself. I’m around all these pros, so doing just one or two takes has been somewhat frightening. Michael hasn’t been around a lot, but he’s fine.”

According to Showbiz CheatSheet, they patched things up after the movie wrapped. Priscilla Presley said that Landon came to her at an after-party and apologized for his on-set behavior. All’s well that ends well.