Fans of “Yellowstone” know Jennifer Landon as the gutsy, tough-as-nails ranch hand Teeter. But few realize she is also the daughter of the late TV actor Michael Landon, who starred in “Little House on the Prairie” and “Bonanza.”
Michael Landon’s Daughter Has Breakout Role on ‘Yellowstone’
Michael Landon died in 1991, when Jennifer Landon was just 8 years old. But she got her first acting job playing a child on Michael’s show “Highway to Heaven,” per Wide Open Country.
She later studied acting at New York University. And she won three consecutive Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series for her work on the soap opera “As the World Turns.”
Landon told Decider that despite her extensive work on multiple soap operas, she doesn’t think she’ll ever top the role of Teeter on “Yellowstone.”
“I’m a lunchbox actor,” Landon said. “Each job is a job fought for and a job got. So after all that hard work, to get something like Yellowstone and to get to work [with] Taylor Sheridan, who I have tremendous respect for, and with actors of this caliber, it’s a no-brainer. Plus, I don’t know if I’ll ever audition for a part as cool as Teeter for the rest of my life. And I’m kind of okay with that.”
She joined the bunkhouse in Season 3 — a daunting task, given that a camaraderie had already formed among the team playing the “Yellowstone” ranch hands. But Landon said she never felt out of place.
“It’s nerve-racking, but also they were so welcoming,” she said. “One of the backstories that I’ve always had in my head for Teeter is that she was raised by her father and had three or four older brothers. For various reasons, that family fell apart. Since then she’s been looking for a home, and she found it with them.”
Wrangling Real Live Cows
Earlier on in the show’s production, Sheridan sent some of the cast to a sort of “cowboy camp.” Its goal was to acclimate them to the Western lifestyle. And, maybe, to get them to fall in love with the life of a ranch hand.
Landon missed out on that. But she did have to go through some training to be on “Yellowstone.”
“Taylor hooked me up with his horse guy out in L.A.,” she explained. “Then, when I got out to set, I worked with one of our wranglers. And she got me somewhat comfortable on a horse. I was on a real roping horse! It was a quick learning curve, but the days that I learned the most oddly were the days that you’re on set and they yell, ‘Action,’ and you just have to go and there’s no thinking about it anymore. You’re like, ‘I need to keep this job,’ and so you just go.”
Landon recalled her scariest day: shooting a scene where Teeter is wrangling cows. She had expected “movie cows,” she said, but what she got was real farm animals.
“At one point, I got head-butted into a gate, but eventually I felt like I was in communication with the cows,” she said. “I was scared, but Teeter’s courage gives me courage, and for a moment I got to feel like a badass.”
Teeter’s rough-and-tumble character must have benefitted from the training. Her thick Southern accent and personality certainly leads “Yellowstone” fans to believe she’s been wrangling cattle for years.